Plague

664 Plague Outbreak

1348 Black Death Plague Outbreak

1528 June Sweating Sickness Outbreak

1625 Plague

1665 Great Plague of London

1665 Battle of Lowestoft

1666 Great Fire of London

Plague is in Diseases.

664 Plague Outbreak

Anglo Saxon Chronicle 650 699. 664. This year the sun was eclipsed, on the eleventh of May; and Erkenbert, King of Kent, having died, Egbert his son succeeded to the kingdom. Colman with his companions this year returned to his own country. This same year there was a great plaguePlague in the island Britain, in which died Bishop Tuda, who was buried at Wayleigh—Chad and Wilferth were consecrated—And Archbishop Deus-dedit died.

1348 Black Death Plague Outbreak

In Jun 1348 the 1348 Black Death Plague Outbreak arrived in England. The first of many occurrences. It is estimated to have killed between 25 to 60 percent of the population of around six million. The outbreak lasted through 1349 recurring in 1362, 1369 and regularly thereafter until its last significant outbreak in The Great Plague of 1666.
On 11 Sep 1349 Bonne Luxemburg Queen Consort France 1315-1349 (34) died of plague in Maubisson, Pontoise.

Before 21 Sep 1349 Hugh Fitzhugh Fitzhenry 1334-1349 died. Possibly by plague given the 1348 Black Death Plague Outbreak occurring at this time.

On 21 Feb 1499 Edmund Tudor 1st Duke Somerset 1499-1500 was born to Henry VII King England and Ireland 1457-1509 (42) and Elizabeth York Queen Consort England 1466-1503 (33) at the Palace of Placentia being their sixth child. On 24 Feb 1499 he was christened at the Church of the Observant Friars. His godparents were Margaret Beaufort Countess Richmond 1443-1509 (55), Edward Stafford 3rd Duke of Buckingham 1478-1521 (21) and Richard Foxe Bishop 1448-1528 (51), then Bishop of Durham. He is believed to have been created 1st Duke Somerset 3C 1499 on the same day although there is no documentation. On 19 Jun 1500 he died at the Royal Palace, Hatfield; possibly of plague of which an outbreak was occuring. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Around 1510 Meynnart Wewyck Painter 1460-1525 is believed to have painted the portrait of Henry VII King England and Ireland 1457-1509.Around 1520 Unknown Painter. Netherlands. Portrait of Henry VII King England and Ireland 1457-1509.Around 1675 Unknown Painter. Portrait of Elizabeth York Queen Consort England 1466-1503. From a work of 1500.Around 1510 Meynnart Wewyck Painter 1460-1525. Portrait of Margaret Beaufort Countess Richmond 1443-1509 in the Masters Lodge St John's College. Commissioned by John Fisher Bishop of Rochester 1469-1535. Note the Beaufort Arms on the wall beneath which is the Beafort Portcullis. Repeated in the window. She is wearing widow's clothes, or possibly that of a convent; Gabled Headress with Lappets. On 29 Mar 2019, St John's College, Cambridge, which she founded, announced the portrait was original work by Wewyck.

Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic Henry VIII August 1527. 11 Jun 1528. Vit. B. XII. 4. B. M. Burnet, I. 103. Anne Boleyn (27) to Wolsey (55).
My Lord, in my most humble wise I desire you to pardon me that I am so bold to trouble you with my simple and rude writing, proceeding from one who is much desirous to know that your Grace does well, as I perceive by this bearer. The great pains you take for me, both day and night, are never likely to be recompensed, "but alonely in loving you, next unto the King's grace, above all creatures living," as my deeds shall manifest. I long to hear from you news of the Legate, and hope they will be very good.
Added by the King:—The writer of this would not cease till she had called me likewise to set to my hand. Both of us desire to see you, and are glad to hear you have escaped the plague so well, trusting the fury of it is abated, especially with those that keep good diet, as I trust you do. The not hearing of the Legate's arrival in France causeth us somewhat to muse; but we trust by your diligence shortly to be eased of that trouble.

Around 1580 based on a work of around 1534.Unknown Painter. Portrait of Anne Boleyn Queen Consort England.Around 1590 based on a work of around 1520.Unknown Painter. French. Portrait of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey 1473-1530.

1528 June Sweating Sickness Outbreak

Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic Henry VIII August 1527. 30 Jun 1528. Le Grand, III. 143. 1440. Du Bellay to Montmorency.
Such conversations as he has had with Wolsey (55) he has pretty well foreseen. Will not presume to say things are going wrong, but if they go on, you will not gain much. I protest, if I have not my recall, I will go without it; and whoever would whip me, not being my master, shall find I fear less 100 deaths than one dishonor. Job would have lost patiencc in my place. Whatever you have done, I hear from Richard d'Albene that he has not a crown, and I am sure if my man had one, he has given it him. He would have spent 1,000 crowns in nine months in that stupid way;—a good thing to resolve me, seeing I had assigned all my property to bankers and bull-brokers before my departure.
News has arrived that Campeggio is coming. Dr. Stephen will be soon at Lyons, who is coming to prepare his lodging; "et puis en dancera qui pourra." The young lady (27) is still with her father. The King (37) keeps moving about for fear of the plague. Many of his people have died of it in three or four hours. Of those you know there are only Poowits, Carey and Cotton (Compton) (46) dead; but Feuguillem, the marquis [Dorset] (51), my lord William, Bron (Brown), Careu, Bryan [Tuke], who is now of the Chamber, Nourriz (Norris), Walop, Chesney, Quinston (Kingston), Paget, and those of the Chamber generally, all but one, have been or are attacked. Yesterday some of them were said to be dead. The King (37) shuts himself up quite alone. It is the same with Wolsey (55). After all, those who are not exposed to the air do not die. Of 40,000 attacked in London, only 2,000 are dead; but if a man only put his hand out of bed during twenty-four hours, it becomes as stiff as a pane of glass. So they do need patience; but I would sooner endure that than what is inflicted on me, for it does not last so long. But, with your aid, or even without it, I mean to be off. After my protests for the last four months, no one will be able to blame me. Let those who have the charge look to it. Moreover, in choosing the persons, you had better not send an Italian, for Wolsey (55) will not have one. Some days ago he told me he would not trust them for their partiality; besides, a man who speaks Latin is required, and he has often been in terrible difficulty for want of it; but you have plenty of bishops and others who will do. In any case, don't send a man who will not spend money, else matters will not mend. I do not speak without reason.
As Wolsey told me he would cause the money of the contribution to be paid to me for you, I spoke to a merchant that it might be paid you at Lyons. Let me know how much is due to you at the end of July, if, as I suppose, it begins on the first day of this month.
Wolsey is informed of great overtures made by the Emperor to the Venetians and duke of Bari, which he thinks they will accept, and that the Duke's ambassador had yielded to the Emperor the investiture of Milan, pretending he had been forced to do so.
The King and Wolsey wish a confirmation by France of the privileges of the isles of Grenesay (Guernsey),—a sort of neutrality which they obtained long ago from the Pope. Such a confirmation was made by Louis XI. London, 30 June.
P.S.—There have died at Wolsey's house the brother of the earl of Derby and a nephew of the duke of Norfolk; and the Cardinal has stolen away with a very few people, letting no one know whither he has gone. The King has at last stopped twenty miles from here, at a house built by Wolsey, finding removals useless. I hear he has made his will, and taken the sacraments, for fear of sudden death. However, he is not ill. I have not written this with my own hand, as you do not read it easily when I write hastily.

Read More ...

1536 Hans Holbein The Younger Painter 1497-1543. Portrait of Henry VIII King England and Ireland 1491-1547.1540 Hans Holbein The Younger Painter 1497-1543. Miniature portrait of Henry VIII King England and Ireland 1491-1547.Around 1525 Unknown Painter. Netherlands. Portrait of Henry VIII King England and Ireland 1491-1547.Around 1527 Hans Holbein The Younger Painter 1497-1543. Portrait of Brian Tuke Secretary -1545.

Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic Henry VIII August 1527. 30 Jun 1528. R. O. St. P. I. 304. 4439. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey 1473-1530 (55) to Henry VIII King England and Ireland 1491-1547 (37).
Is glad the King has escaped the plague. Has just heard of the death of Sir Wm. Compton (46), and advises the King to stay the distribution of his offices for a time. Is sorry to be so far away from the King, but will at any time attend him with one servant and a page to do service in the King's chamber. Hampton Court, 30 June. Signed.

1528 June Sweating Sickness Outbreak

Letters and Papers Foreign and Domestic Henry VIII August 1527. 07 Jul 1528. Love Letters XIII. 4477. Henry VIII (37) to Anne Boleyn (27).
Since her last, Walter Welshe, Master Browne, Thos. Care, Yrion of Brearton, John Coke the potecary, are fallen of the sweat in this house, and, thank God, have all recovered, so the plague has not yet quite ceased here. The rest of us are well, and I hope will pass it. As for the matter of Wylton, my lord Cardinal has had the nuns before him, and examined them in presence of Master Bell, who assures me that she whom we would have had abbess has confessed herself to have had two children by two different priests, and has since been kept, not long ago, by a servant of lord Broke that was. "Wherefore I would not, for all the gold in the world, cloak your conscience nor mine to make her ruler of a house which is of so ungodly demeanour; nor I trust you would not that neither for brother nor sister I should so distayne mine honor or conscience. And as touching the prioress or dame Ellenor's eldest sister, though there is not any evident case proved against them, and the prioress is so old that of many years she could not be as she was named, yet notwithstanding, to do you pleasure, I have done that nother of them shall have it, but that some other good and well-disposed woman shall have it, whereby the house shall be the better reformed, whereof I ensure you it hath much need, and God much the better served. As touching your abode at Hever, do therein as best shall like you, for you know best what air doth best with you; but I would it were come thereto, if it pleased God, that nother of us need care for that, for I ensure you I think it long. Suche (Zouch) is fallen sick of the sweat, and therefore I send you this bearer because I think you long to hear tidings from us, as we do in likewise from you.".

Read More ...

1625 Plague

John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. 1625. I was this year (being the first of the reign of King Charles (24)) sent by my father (38) to Lewes, in Sussex, to be with my grandfather, Standsfield (58), with whom I passed my childhood. This was the year in which the pestilencePlague was so epidemical, that there died in London 5,000 a week, and I well remember the strict watches and examinations upon the ways as we passed; and I was shortly after so dangerously sick of a fever that (as I have heard) the physicians despaired of me.

In 1625 a plague killed around 40,000 Londoners.

John Evelyn's Diary 1620 1636 Birth and Childhood. 10 Dec 1636. The 10th of December my father (49) sent a servant to bring us necessaries, and the plague beginning now to cease, on the 3d of April 1637, I left school, where, till about the last year, I have been extremely remiss in my studies; so as I went to the University rather out of shame of abiding longer at school, than for any fitness, as by sad experience I found: which put me to re-learn all that I had neglected, or but perfunctorily gained.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 March 1652. 06 Mar 1652. Saw the magnificent funeral of that arch-rebel, Ireton (41), carried in pomp from Somerset House to Westminster, accompanied with divers regiments of soldiers, horse and foot; then marched the mourners, General Cromwell (52) (his father-in-law), his mock-parliament-men, officers, and forty poor men in gowns, three led horses in housings of black cloth, two led in black velvet, and his charging horse, all covered over with embroidery and gold, on crimson velvet; then the guidons, ensigns, four heralds, carrying the arms of the State (as they called it), namely, the red cross and Ireland, with the casque, wreath, sword, spurs, etc.; next, a chariot canopied of black velvet, and six horses, in which was the corpse; the pall held up by the mourners on foot; the mace and sword, with other marks of his charge in Ireland (where he died of the plague), carried before in black scarfs. Thus, in a grave pace, drums covered with cloth, soldiers reversing their arms, they proceeded through the streets in a very solemn manner. This Ireton was a stout rebel, and had been very bloody to the King's (21) party, witness his severity at Colchester, when in cold blood he put to death those gallant gentlemen, Sir Charles Lucas (39) and Sir George Lisle. My cousin, R. Fanshawe (43), came to visit me, and informed me of many considerable affairs. Sir Henry Herbert (57) presented me with his brother, my Lord Cherbury's book, "De Veritate"..

Read More ...

Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 July 1661. 15 Jul 1661. Up by three o'clock this morning, and rode to Cambridge, and was there by seven o'clock, where, after I was trimmed, I went to Christ College, and found my brother John (20) at eight o'clock in bed, which vexed me. Then to King's College chappell, where I found the scholars in their surplices at the service with the organs, which is a strange sight to what it used in my time to be here.
Then with Dr. Fairbrother (whom I met there) to the Rose tavern, and called for some wine, and there met fortunately with Mr. Turner of our office, and sent for his wife, and were very merry (they being come to settle their son here), and sent also for Mr. Sanchy, of Magdalen, with whom and other gentlemen, friends of his, we were very merry, and I treated them as well as I could, and so at noon took horse again, having taken leave of my cozen Angier, and rode to Impington, where I found my old uncle (78)1 sitting all alone, like a man out of the world: he can hardly see; but all things else he do pretty livelyly.
Then with Dr. John Pepys and him, I read over the will, and had their advice therein, who, as to the sufficiency thereof confirmed me, and advised me as to the other parts thereof. Having done there, I rode to Gravely with much ado to inquire for a surrender of my uncle's in some of the copyholders' hands there, but I can hear of none, which puts me into very great trouble of mind, and so with a sad heart rode home to Brampton, but made myself as cheerful as I could to my father, and so to bed.
Note 1. Talbot Pepys (78), sixth son of John Pepys of Impington -1589, was born 1583, and therefore at this time he was seventy-eight years of age. He was educated at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, and called to the bar at the Middle Temple in 1605. He was M.P. for Cambridge in 1625, and Recorder of Cambridge from 1624 to 1660, in which year he was succeeded by his son Roger (44). He died of the plague, March, 1666, aged eighty-three.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 19 October 1663. 19 Oct 1663. Waked with a very high wind, and said to my wife, "I pray God I hear not of the death of any great person, this wind is so high!" fearing that the Queen (24) might be dead.
So up; and going by coach with Sir W. Batten (62) and Sir J. Minnes (64) to St. James's, they tell me that Sir Wm. Compton (38), who it is true had been a little sickly for a week or fortnight, but was very well upon Friday at night last at the Tangier Committee with us, was dead—died yesterday: at which I was most exceedingly surprised, he being, and so all the world saying that he was, one of the worthyest men and best officers of State now in England; and so in my conscience he was: of the best temper, valour, abilities of mind, integrity, birth, fine person, and diligence of any one man he hath left behind him in the three kingdoms; and yet not forty years old, or if so, that is all1. I find the sober men of the Court troubled for him; and yet not so as to hinder or lessen their mirth, talking, laughing, and eating, drinking, and doing every thing else, just as if there was no such thing, which is as good an instance for me hereafter to judge of death, both as to the unavoidableness, suddenness, and little effect of it upon the spirits of others, let a man be never so high, or rich, or good; but that all die alike, no more matter being made of the death of one than another, and that even to die well, the praise of it is not considerable in the world, compared to the many in the world that know not nor make anything of it, nor perhaps to them (unless to one that like this poor gentleman, who is one of a thousand, there nobody speaking ill of him) that will speak ill of a man.
Coming to St. James's, I hear that the Queen (24) did sleep five hours pretty well to-night, and that she waked and gargled her mouth, and to sleep again; but that her pulse beats fast, beating twenty to the King's or my Lady Suffolk's (41) eleven; but not so strong as it was. It seems she was so ill as to be shaved and Pigeons put to her feet, and to have the extreme unction given her by the priests, who were so long about it that the doctors were angry. The King (33), they all say; is most fondly disconsolate for her, and weeps by her, which makes her weep2; which one this day told me he reckons a good sign, for that it carries away some rheume from the head.
This morning Captain Allen (51) tells me how the famous Ned Mullins, by a slight fall, broke his leg at the ancle, which festered; and he had his leg cut off on Saturday, but so ill done, notwithstanding all the great chyrurgeons about the town at the doing of it, that they fear he will not live with it, which is very strange, besides the torment he was put to with it.
After being a little with the Duke (30), and being invited to dinner to my Lord Barkeley's (61), and so, not knowing how to spend our time till noon, Sir W. Batten (62) and I took coach, and to the Coffee-house in Cornhill;3 where much talk about the Turk's proceedings, and that the plague is got to Amsterdam, brought by a ship from Argier; and it is also carried to Hambrough. The Duke says the King (33) purposes to forbid any of their ships coming into the river. The Duke also told us of several Christian commanders (French) gone over to the Turks to serve them; and upon inquiry I find that the King of France (25) do by this aspire to the Empire, and so to get the Crown of Spayne also upon the death of the King (33), which is very probable, it seems.
Back to St. James's, and there dined with my Lord Barkeley (61) and his lady (25), where Sir G. Carteret (53), Sir W. Batten (62), and myself, with two gentlemen more; my Lady, and one of the ladies of honour to the Duchesse (26) (no handsome woman, but a most excellent hand).
A fine French dinner, and so we after dinner broke up and to Creed's new lodgings in Axe-yard, which I like very well and so with him to White Hall and walked up and down in the galleries with good discourse, and anon Mr. Coventry (35) and Povy (49), sad for the loss of one of our number we sat down as a Committee for Tangier and did some business and so broke up, and I down with Mr. Coventry (35) and in his chamber discoursing of business of the office and Sir J. Minnes (64) and Sir W. Batten's (62) carriage, when he most ingeniously tells me how they have carried themselves to him in forbearing to speak the other day to the Duke what they know they have so largely at other times said to him, and I told him what I am put to about the bargain for masts. I perceive he thinks of it all and will remember it.
Thence took up my wife at Mrs. Harper's where she and Jane were, and so called at the New Exchange for some things for her, and then at Tom's went up and saw his house now it is finished, and indeed it is very handsome, but he not within and so home and to my office; and then to supper and to bed.
Note 1. Sir William Compton (1625-1663) (38) was knighted at Oxford, December 12th, 1643. He was called by Cromwell "the sober young man and the godly cavalier". After the Restoration he was M.P. for Cambridge (1661), and appointed Master of the Ordnance. He died in Drury Lane, suddenly, as stated in the text, and was buried at Compton Wynyates, Warwickshire.
Note 2. "The Queen (24) was given over by her physicians,..., and the good nature of the King (33) was much affected with the situation in which he saw! a princess whom, though he did not love her, yet he greatly esteemed. She loved him tenderly, and thinking that it was the last time she should ever speak to him, she told him 'That the concern he showed for her death was enough to make her quit life with regret; but that not possessing charms sufficient to merit his tenderness, she had at least the consolation in dying to give place to a consort who might be more worthy, of it and to whom heaven, perhaps, might grant a blessing that had been refused to her.' At these words she bathed his hands with some tears which he thought would be her last; he mingled his own with hers, and without supposing she would take him at his word, he conjured her to live for his sake".—Grammont Memoirs, chap. vii.
Note 3. This may be the Coffee House in Exchange Alley, which had for a sign, Morat the Great, or The Great Turk, where coffee was sold in berry, in powder, and pounded in a mortar. There is a token of the house, see "Boyne's Tokens", ed. Williamson, vol. i., p. 592.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 31 October 1663. 31 Oct 1663. Up and to the office, where we sat all the morning, and at noon home to dinner, where Creed came and dined with me, and after dinner he and I upstairs, and I showed him my velvet cloake and other things of clothes, that I have lately bought, which he likes very well, and I took his opinion as to some things of clothes, which I purpose to wear, being resolved to go a little handsomer than I have hitherto.
Thence to the office; where busy till night, and then to prepare my monthly account, about which I staid till 10 or 11 o'clock at night, and to my great sorrow find myself £43 worse than I was the last month, which was then £760, and now it is but £717. But it hath chiefly arisen from my layings-out in clothes for myself and wife; viz., for her about £12, and for myself £55, or thereabouts; having made myself a velvet cloake, two new cloth suits, black, plain both; a new shagg1 gowne, trimmed with gold buttons and twist, with a new hat, and, silk tops for my legs, and many other things, being resolved henceforward to go like myself. And also two perriwiggs, one whereof costs me £3, and the other 40s.—I have worn neither yet, but will begin next week, God willing. So that I hope I shall not need now to lay out more money a great while, I having laid out in clothes for myself and wife, and for her closett and other things without, these two months, this and the last, besides household expenses of victuals, &c., above £110. But I hope I shall with more comfort labour to get more, and with better successe than when, for want of clothes, I was forced to sneake like a beggar. Having done this I went home, and after supper to bed, my mind being eased in knowing my condition, though troubled to think that I have been forced to spend so much.
Thus I end this month worth £717, or thereabouts, with a good deal of good goods more than I had, and a great deal of new and good clothes. My greatest trouble and my wife's is our family, mighty out of order by this fellow Will's corrupting the mayds by his idle talke and carriage, which we are going to remove by hastening him out of the house, which his uncle Blackburne is upon doing, and I am to give him £20 per annum toward his maintenance.
The Queene (53) continues lightheaded, but in hopes to recover. The plague is much in Amsterdam, and we in fears of it here, which God defend2. The Turke goes on mightily in the Emperor's dominions, and the Princes cannot agree among themselves how to go against him. Myself in pretty good health now, after being ill this month for a week together, but cannot yet come to.... well, being so costive, but for this month almost I have not had a good natural stool, but to this hour am forced to take physic every night, which brings me neither but one stool, and that in the morning as soon as I am up, all the rest of the day very costive. My father has been very ill in the country, but I hope better again now. I am lately come to a conclusion with Tom Trice to pay him £100, which is a great deale of money, but I hope it will save a great deale more. But thus everything lessens, which I have and am like to have, and therefore I must look about me to get something more than just my salary, or else I may resolve to live well and die a beggar.
Note 1. Shag was a stuff similar to plush. In 1703 a youth who was missing is described in an advertisement as wearing "red shag breeches, striped with black stripes". (Planche's "Cyclopxdia of Costume ").
Note 2. Defend is used in the sense of forbid. It is a Gallicism from the French "defendre"..

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 May 1664. 04 May 1664. Up, and my new Taylor, Langford, comes and takes measure of me for a new black cloth suit and cloake, and I think he will prove a very carefull fellow and will please me well.
Thence to attend my Lord Peterborough (42) in bed and give him an account of yesterday's proceeding with Povy (50). I perceive I labour in a business will bring me little pleasure; but no matter, I shall do the King (33) some service.
To my Lord's lodgings, where during my Lady's sickness he is, there spoke with him about the same business.
Back and by water to my cozen Scott's. There condoled with him the loss of my cozen, his wife, and talked about his matters, as atturney to my father, in his administering to my brother Tom (30). He tells me we are like to receive some shame about the business of his bastarde with Jack Noble; but no matter, so it cost us no money.
Thence to the Coffee-house and to the 'Change a while. News uncertain how the Dutch proceed. Some say for, some against a war. The plague increases at Amsterdam.
So home to dinner, and after dinner to my office, where very late, till my eyes (which begin to fail me nowadays by candlelight) begin to trouble me. Only in the afternoon comes Mr. Peter Honiwood to see me and gives me 20s., his and his friends' pence for my brother John (23), which, God forgive my pride, methinks I think myself too high to take of him; but it is an ungratefull pitch of pride in me, which God forgive.
Home at night to supper and to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 16 June 1664. 16 Jun 1664. [continues from yesterday] I lay in my drawers and stockings and wastecoate till five of the clock, and so up; and being well pleased with our frolique, walked to Knightsbridge, and there eat a messe of creame, and so to St. James's, and there walked a little, and so I to White Hall, and took coach, and found my wife well got home last night, and now in bed.
So I to the office, where all the morning, and at noon to the 'Change, so home and to my office, where Mr. Ackworth came to me (though he knows himself and I know him to be a very knave), yet he came to me to discover the knavery of other people like the most honest man in the world. However, good use I shall make of his discourse, for in this he is much in the right.
He being gone I to the 'Change, Mr. Creed with me, after we had been by water to see a vessell we have hired to carry more soldiers to Tangier, and also visited a rope ground, wherein I learnt several useful things. The talk upon the 'Change is, that De Ruyter (57) is dead, with fifty men of his own ship, of the plague, at Cales: that the Holland Embassador here do endeavour to sweeten us with fair words; and things likely to be peaceable.
Home after I had spoke with my cozen Richard Pepys upon the 'Change, about supplying us with bewpers from Norwich, which I should be glad of, if cheap. So home to supper and bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 June 1664. 22 Jun 1664. Up and I found Mr. Creed below, who staid with me a while, and then I to business all the morning.
At noon to the 'Change and Coffee-house, where great talke of the Dutch preparing of sixty sayle of ships. The plague grows mightily among them, both at sea and land. From the 'Change to dinner to Trinity House with Sir W. Rider and Cutler, where a very good dinner. Here Sir G. Ascue (48) dined also, who I perceive desires to make himself known among the seamen.
Thence home, there coming to me my Lord Peterborough's (42) Sollicitor with a letter from him to desire present dispatch in his business of freight, and promises me £50, which is good newes, and I hope to do his business readily for him. This much rejoiced me. All the afternoon at his business, and late at night comes the Sollicitor again, and I with him at 9 o'clock to Mr. Povy's (50), and there acquainted him with the business. The money he won't pay without warrant, but that will be got done in a few days.
So home by coach and to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 July 1664. 25 Jul 1664. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes (65) and Sir W. Batten (63) by coach to St. James's, but there the Duke (30) being gone out we to my Lord Berkeley's (62) chamber, Mr. Coventry (36) being there, and among other things there met with a printed copy of the King's commission for the repair of Paul's, which is very large, and large power for collecting money, and recovering of all people that had bought or sold formerly any thing belonging to the Church. And here I find my Lord Mayor of the City (48) set in order before the Archbishopp (66) or any nobleman, though all the greatest officers of state are there. But yet I do not hear by my Lord Berkeley (62), who is one of them, that any thing is like to come of it.
Thence back again homewards, and Sir W. Batten (63) and I to the Coffee-house, but no newes, only the plague is very hot still, and encreases among the Dutch.
Home to dinner, and after dinner walked forth, and do what I could I could not keep myself from going through Fleet Lane, but had the sense of safety and honour not to go in, and the rather being a holiday I feared I might meet with some people that might know me.
Thence to Charing Cross, and there called at Unthanke's to see what I owed, but found nothing, and here being a couple of pretty ladies, lodgers in the kitchen, I staid a little there.
Thence to my barber Gervas, who this day buries his child, which it seems was born without a passage behind, so that it never voided any thing in the week or fortnight that it has been born.
Thence to Mr. Reeves, it coming just now in my head to buy a microscope, but he was not within, so I walked all round that end of the town among the loathsome people and houses, but, God be thanked! had no desire to visit any of them.
So home, where I met Mr. Lanyon, who tells me Mr. Alsop is past hopes, which will mightily disappoint me in my hopes there, and yet it may be not. I shall think whether it will be safe for me to venture myself or no, and come in as an adventurer.
He gone, Mr. Cole (my old Jack Cole) comes to see and speak with me, and his errand in short to tell me that he is giving over his trade; he can do no good in it, and will turn what he has into money and go to sea, his father being dead and leaving him little, if any thing. This I was sorry to hear, he being a man of good parts, but, I fear, debauched. I promised him all the friendship I can do him, which will end in little, though I truly mean it, and so I made him stay with me till 11 at night, talking of old school stories, and very pleasing ones, and truly I find that we did spend our time and thoughts then otherwise than I think boys do now, and I think as well as methinks that the best are now. He supped with me, and so away, and I to bed. And strange to see how we are all divided that were bred so long at school together, and what various fortunes we have run, some good, some bad.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 August 1664. 03 Aug 1664. Up betimes and set some joyners on work to new lay my floor in our wardrobe, which I intend to make a room for musique.
Thence abroad to Westminster, among other things to Mr. Blagrave's, and there had his consent for his kinswoman to come to be with my wife for her woman, at which I am well pleased and hope she may do well.
Thence to White Hall to meet with Sir G. Carteret (54) about hiring some ground to make our mast docke at Deptford, but being Council morning failed, but met with Mr. Coventry (36), and he and I discoursed of the likeliness of a Dutch warr, which I think is very likely now, for the Dutch do prepare a fleet to oppose us at Guinny, and he do think we shall, though neither of us have a mind to it, fall into it of a sudden, and yet the plague do increase among them, and is got into their fleet, and Opdam's own ship, which makes it strange they should be so high.
Thence to the 'Change, and thence home to dinner, and down by water to Woolwich to the rope yard, and there visited Mrs. Falconer, who tells me odd stories of how Sir W. Pen (43) was rewarded by her husband with a gold watch (but seems not certain of what Sir W. Batten (63) told me, of his daughter having a life given her in £80 per ann.) for his helping him to his place, and yet cost him £150 to Mr. Coventry (36) besides. He did much advise it seems Mr. Falconer not to marry again, expressing that he would have him make his daughter his heire, or words to that purpose, and that that makes him, she thinks, so cold in giving her any satisfaction, and that W. Boddam hath publickly said, since he came down thither to be Clerk of the Ropeyard of Woolwich that it hath this week cost him £100, and would be glad that it would cost him but half as much more for the place, and that he was better before than now, and that if he had been to have bought it, he would not have given so much for it. Now I am sure that Mr. Coventry (36) hath again and again said that he would take nothing, but would give all his part in it freely to him, that so the widow might have something. What the meaning of this is I know not, but that Sir W. Pen (43) do get something by it.
Thence to the Dockeyard, and there saw the new ship in great forwardness.
So home and to supper, and then to the office, where late, Mr. Bland and I talking about Tangier business, and so home to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 24 September 1664. 24 Sep 1664. Up and to the office, where all the morning busy, then home to dinner, and so after dinner comes one Phillips, who is concerned in the Lottery, and from him I collected much concerning that business. I carried him in my way to White Hall and set him down at Somersett House. Among other things he told me that Monsieur Du Puy, that is so great a man at the Duke of Yorke's (30), and this man's great opponent, is a knave and by quality but a tailor.
To the Tangier Committee, and there I opposed Colonell Legg's estimate of supplies of provisions to be sent to Tangier till all were ashamed of it, and he fain after all his good husbandry and seeming ignorance and joy to have the King's money saved, yet afterwards he discovered all his design to be to keep the furnishing of these things to the officers of the Ordnance, but Mr. Coventry (36) seconded me, and between us we shall save the King (34) some money in the year. In one business of deales in £520, I offer to save £172, and yet purpose getting money, to myself by it.
So home and to my office, and business being done home to supper and so to bed, my head and throat being still out of order mightily. This night Prior of Brampton came and paid me £40, and I find this poor painful man is the only thriving and purchasing man in the town almost. We were told to-day of a Dutch ship of 3 or 400 tons, where all the men were dead of the plague, and the ship cast ashore at Gottenburgh.

Read More ...

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.

Read More ...

In 1665 the last great bubonic plague occurred in England killing a quarter of London's population, between 60000 and 120000 people died, in around eighteen months.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 June 1665. 07 Jun 1665. This morning my wife and mother rose about two o'clock; and with Mercer, Mary, the boy, and W. Hewer (23), as they had designed, took boat and down to refresh themselves on the water to Gravesend. Lay till 7 o'clock, then up and to the office upon Sir G. Carteret's (55) accounts again, where very busy; thence abroad and to the 'Change, no news of certainty being yet come from the fleete.
Thence to the Dolphin Taverne, where Sir J. Minnes (66), Lord Brunkard (45), Sir Thomas Harvy (40), and myself dined, upon Sir G. Carteret's (55) charge, and very merry we were, Sir Thomas Harvy (40) being a very drolle.
Thence to the office, and meeting Creed away with him to my Lord Treasurer's (58), there thinking to have met the goldsmiths, at White Hall, but did not, and so appointed another time for my Lord to speak to them to advance us some money.
Thence, it being the hottest day that ever I felt in my life, and it is confessed so by all other people the hottest they ever knew in England in the beginning of June, we to the New Exchange, and there drunk whey, with much entreaty getting it for our money, and [they] would not be entreated to let us have one glasse more.
So took water and to Fox-Hall, to the Spring garden, and there walked an houre or two with great pleasure, saving our minds ill at ease concerning the fleete and my Lord Sandwich (39), that we have no newes of them, and ill reports run up and down of his being killed, but without ground. Here staid pleasantly walking and spending but 6d. till nine at night, and then by water to White Hall, and there I stopped to hear news of the fleete, but none come, which is strange, and so by water home, where, weary with walking and with the mighty heat of the weather, and for my wife's not coming home, I staying walking in the garden till twelve at night, when it begun to lighten exceedingly, through the greatness of the heat. Then despairing of her coming home, I to bed.
This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses marked with a red cross upon the doors, and "Lord have mercy upon us" writ there; which was a sad sight to me, being the first of the kind that, to my remembrance, I ever saw. It put me into an ill conception of myself and my smell, so that I was forced to buy some roll-tobacco to smell to and chaw, which took away the apprehension.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 June 1665. 08 Jun 1665. About five o'clock my wife come home, it having lightened all night hard, and one great shower of rain. She come and lay upon the bed; I up and to the office, where all the morning.
Alone at home to dinner, my wife, mother, and Mercer dining at W. Joyce's; I giving her a caution to go round by the Half Moone to his house, because of the plague.
I to my Lord Treasurer's (58) by appointment of Sir Thomas Ingram's (50), to meet the Goldsmiths; where I met with the great news at last newly come, brought by Bab May (37) from the Duke of Yorke (31), that we have totally routed the Dutch; that the Duke (31) himself, the Prince (45), my Lord Sandwich (39), and Mr. Coventry (37) are all well: which did put me into such joy, that I forgot almost all other thoughts. The particulars I shall set down by and by.
By and by comes Alderman Maynell and Mr. Viner (34), and there my Lord Treasurer (58) did intreat them to furnish me with money upon my tallys, Sir Philip Warwicke (55) before my Lord declaring the King's changing of the hand from Mr. Povy (51) to me, whom he called a very sober person, and one whom the Lord Treasurer (58) would owne in all things that I should concern myself with them in the business of money. They did at present declare they could not part with money at present. My Lord did press them very hard, and I hope upon their considering we shall get some of them.
Thence with great joy to the Cocke-pitt; where the Duke of Albemarle (56), like a man out of himself with content, new-told me all; and by and by comes a letter from Mr. Coventry's (37) own hand to him, which he never opened (which was a strange thing), but did give it me to open and read, and consider what was fit for our office to do in it, and leave the letter with Sir W. Clerke; which upon such a time and occasion was a strange piece of indifference, hardly pardonable. I copied out the letter, and did also take minutes out of Sir W. Clerke's other letters; and the sum of the newes is:
VICTORY OVER THE DUTCH, JUNE 3RD, 1665.
This day they engaged; the Dutch neglecting greatly the opportunity of the wind they had of us, by which they lost the benefit of their fire-ships. The Earl of Falmouth (35), Muskerry, and Mr. Richard Boyle killed on board the Duke's ship, the Royall Charles, with one shot: their blood and brains flying in the Duke's (31) face; and the head of Mr. Boyle striking down the Duke (31), as some say. !Earle of Marlborough (47), Portland (26), Rear-Admirall Sansum (to Prince Rupert (45)) killed, and Capt. Kirby and Ableson. Sir John Lawson (50) wounded on the knee; hath had some bones taken out, and is likely to be well again. Upon receiving the hurt, he sent to the Duke (31) for another to command the Royall Oake. The Duke (31) sent Jordan1 out of the St. George, who did brave things in her. Capt. Jer. Smith of the Mary was second to the Duke (31), and stepped between him and Captain Seaton of the Urania (76 guns and 400 men), who had sworn to board the Duke (31); killed him, 200 men, and took the ship; himself losing 99 men, and never an officer saved but himself and lieutenant. His master indeed is saved, with his leg cut off: Admirall Opdam blown up, Trump killed, and said by Holmes; all the rest of their admiralls, as they say, but Everson (whom they dare not trust for his affection to the Prince of Orange), are killed: we having taken and sunk, as is believed, about 24 of their best ships; killed and taken near 8 or 10,000 men, and lost, we think, not above 700. A great[er] victory never known in the world. They are all fled, some 43 got into the Texell, and others elsewhere, and we in pursuit of the rest.
Thence, with my heart full of joy; home, and to my office a little; then to my Lady Pen's (41), where they are all joyed and not a little puffed up at the good successe of their father (44)2 and good service indeed is said to have been done by him. Had a great bonefire at the gate; and I with my Lady Pen's (41) people and others to Mrs. Turner's (42) great room, and then down into the streete. I did give the boys 4s. among them, and mighty merry.
So home to bed, with my heart at great rest and quiett, saving that the consideration of the victory is too great for me presently to comprehend3.
Note 1. Afterwards Sir Joseph Jordan, commander of the "Royal Sovereign", and Vice-Admiral of the Red, 1672. He was knighted on July 1st, 1665. B.
Note 2. In the royal charter granted by Charles II in 1680 to William Penn for the government of his American province, to be styled Pennsylvania, special reference is made to "the memory and merits of Sir William Pen (44) in divers services, and particularly his conduct, courage, and discretion under our dearest brother, James, Duke of York (31), in that signal battle and victory fought and obtained against the Dutch fleet commanded by Heer van Opdam in 1665" ("Penn's Memorials of Sir W. Penn (44)", vol. ii., p. 359).
Note 3. Mrs. Ady (Julia Cartwright), in her fascinating life of Henrietta, Duchess of Orléans, gives an account of the receipt of the news of the great sea-fight in Paris, and quotes a letter of Charles II to his sister, dated, "Whitehall, June 8th, 1665" The first report that reached Paris was that "the Duke of York's (31) ship had been blown up, and he himself had been drowned". "The shock was too much for Madame... she was seized with convulsions, and became so dangerously ill that Lord Hollis (65) wrote to the King (35), 'If things had gone ill at sea I really believe Madame would have died.'" Charles wrote: "I thanke God we have now the certayne newes of a very considerable victory over the Duch; you will see most of the particulars by the relation my Lord Hopis will shew you, though I have had as great a losse as 'tis possible in a good frinde, poore C. Barckely (35). It troubles me so much, as I hope you will excuse the shortnesse of this letter, haveing receaved the newes of it but two houres agoe" ("Madame", 1894, pp. 215, 216).

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 June 1665. 10 Jun 1665. Lay long in bed, and then up and at the office all the morning. At noon dined at home, and then to the office busy all the afternoon.
In the evening home to supper; and there, to my great trouble, hear that the plague is come into the City (though it hath these three or four weeks since its beginning been wholly out of the City); but where should it begin but in my good friend and neighbour's, Dr. Burnett, in Fanchurch Street: which in both points troubles me mightily.
To the office to finish my letters and then home to bed, being troubled at the sicknesse, and my head filled also with other business enough, and particularly how to put my things and estate in order, in case it should please God to call me away, which God dispose of to his glory!

Battle of Lowestoft

Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 June 1665. 15 Jun 1665. Up, and put on my new stuff suit with close knees, which becomes me most nobly, as my wife says. At the office all day.
At noon, put on my first laced band, all lace; and to Kate Joyce's to dinner, where my mother, wife, and abundance of their friends, and good usage.
Thence, wife and Mercer and I to the Old Exchange, and there bought two lace bands more, one of my semstresse, whom my wife concurs with me to be a pretty woman. So down to Deptford and Woolwich, my boy and I At Woolwich, discoursed with Mr. Sheldon about my bringing my wife down for a month or two to his house, which he approves of, and, I think, will be very convenient.
So late back, and to the office, wrote letters, and so home to supper and to bed. This day the Newes book upon Mr. Moore's showing L'Estrange1 (Captain Ferrers's letter) did do my Lord Sandwich (39) great right as to the late victory. The Duke of Yorke (31) not yet come to towne. The towne grows very sickly, and people to be afeard of it; there dying this last week of the plague 112, from 43 the week before, whereof but [one] in Fanchurch-streete, and one in Broad-streete, by the Treasurer's office.
Note 1. "The Public Intelligencer", published by Roger L'Estrange, the predecessor of the "London Gazette"..

Read More ...

Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 June 1665. 17 Jun 1665. My wife come to bed about one in the morning. I up and abroad about Tangier business, then back to the office, where we sat, and at noon home to dinner, and then abroad to Mr. Povy's (51), after I and Mr. Andrews had been with Mr. Ball and one Major Strange, who looks after the getting of money for tallys and is helping Mr. Andrews. I had much discourse with Ball, and it may be he may prove a necessary man for our turns. With Mr. Povy (51) I spoke very freely my indifference as to my place of Treasurer, being so much troubled in it, which he took with much seeming trouble, that I should think of letting go so lightly the place, but if the place can't be held I will. So hearing that my Lord Treasurer (58) was gone out of town with his family because of the sicknesse, I returned home without staying there, and at the office find Sir W. Pen (44) come home, who looks very well; and I am gladder to see him than otherwise I should be because of my hearing so well of him for his serviceablenesse in this late great action.
To the office late, and then home to bed. It struck me very deep this afternoon going with a hackney coach from my Lord Treasurer's (58) down Holborne, the coachman I found to drive easily and easily, at last stood still, and come down hardly able to stand, and told me that he was suddenly struck very sicke, and almost blind, he could not see; so I 'light and went into another coach, with a sad heart for the poor man and trouble for myself, lest he should have been struck with the plague, being at the end of the towne that I took him up; but God have mercy upon us all! Sir John Lawson (50), I hear, is worse than yesterday: the King (35) went to see him to-day most kindly. It seems his wound is not very bad; but he hath a fever, a thrush, and a hickup, all three together, which are, it seems, very bad symptoms.

Read More ...

Battle of Lowestoft

Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 June 1665. 20 Jun 1665. Thankes-giving-day for victory over ye Dutch. Up, and to the office, where very busy alone all the morning till church time, and there heard a mean sorry sermon of Mr. Mills. Then to the Dolphin Taverne, where all we officers of the Navy met with the Commissioners of the Ordnance by agreement, and dined: where good musique at my direction. Our club [share] 1 —come to 34s. a man, nine of us.
Thence after dinner, to White Hall with Sir W. Berkely (63) in his coach, and so walked to Herbert's and there spent a little time...
Thence by water to Fox-Hall, and there walked an hour alone, observing the several humours of the citizens that were there this holyday, pulling of cherries, [The game of bob-cherry] and God knows what, and so home to my office, where late, my wife not being come home with my mother, who have been this day all abroad upon the water, my mother being to go out of town speedily.
So I home and to supper and to bed, my wife come home when I come from the office. This day I informed myself that there died four or five at Westminster of the plague in one alley in several houses upon Sunday last, Bell Alley, over against the Palace-gate; yet people do think that the number will be fewer in the towne than it was the last weeke! The Dutch are come out again with 20 sail under Bankert; supposed gone to the Northward to meete their East India fleete.
Note 1. "Next these a sort of Sots there are, Who crave more wine than they can bear, Yet hate, when drunk, to pay or spend Their equal Club or Dividend, But wrangle, when the Bill is brought, And think they're cheated when they're not". The Delights of the Bottle, or the Compleat Vintner, 3rd ed., 1721, p. 29.

Read More ...

Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 June 1665. 22 Jun 1665. Up pretty betimes, and in great pain whether to send my another into the country to-day or no, I hearing, by my people, that she, poor wretch, hath a mind to stay a little longer, and I cannot blame her, considering what a life she will through her own folly lead when she comes home again, unlike the pleasure and liberty she hath had here. At last I resolved to put it to her, and she agreed to go, so I would not oppose it, because of the sicknesse in the towne, and my intentions of removing my wife. So I did give her money and took a kind leave of her, she, poor wretch, desiring that I would forgive my brother John (24), but I refused it to her, which troubled her, poor soul, but I did it in kind words and so let the discourse go off, she leaving me though in a great deal of sorrow.
So I to my office and left my wife and people to see her out of town, and I at the office all the morning.
At noon my wife tells me that she is with much ado gone, and I pray God bless her, but it seems she was to the last unwilling to go, but would not say so, but put it off till she lost her place in the coach, and was fain to ride in the waggon part.
After dinner to the office again till night, very busy, and so home not very late to supper and to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 June 1665. 26 Jun 1665. Up and to White Hall with Sir J. Minnes (66), and to the Committee of Tangier, where my Lord Treasurer (58) was, the first and only time he ever was there, and did promise us £15,000 for Tangier and no more, which will be short. But if I can pay Mr. Andrews all his money I care for no more, and the Bills of Exchange.
Thence with Mr. Povy (51) and Creed below to a new chamber of Mr. Povy's (51), very pretty, and there discourse about his business, not to his content, but with the most advantage I could to him, and Creed also did the like.
Thence with Creed to the King's Head, and there dined with him at the ordinary, and good sport with one Mr. Nicholls, a prating coxcombe, that would be thought a poet, but would not be got to repeat any of his verses.
Thence I home, and there find my wife's brother and his wife, a pretty little modest woman, where they dined with my wife. He did come to desire my assistance for a living, and, upon his good promises of care, and that it should be no burden to me, I did say and promise I would think of finding something for him, and the rather because his wife seems a pretty discreet young thing, and humble, and he, above all things, desirous to do something to maintain her, telling me sad stories of what she endured with him in Holland, and I hope it will not be burdensome.
So down by water to Woolwich, walking to and again from Greenwich thither and back again, my business being to speak again with Sheldon, who desires and expects my wife coming thither to spend the summer, and upon second thoughts I do agree that it will be a good place for her and me too.
So, weary, home, and to my office a while, till almost midnight, and so to bed. The plague encreases mightily, I this day seeing a house, at a bitt-maker's over against St. Clement's Church, in the open street, shut up; which is a sad sight.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 28 June 1665. 28 Jun 1665. Sir J. Minnes (66) carried me and my wife to White Hall, and thence his coach along with my wife where she would.
There after attending the Duke (31) to discourse of the navy. We did not kiss his hand, nor do I think, for all their pretence, of going away to-morrow. Yet I believe they will not go for good and all, but I did take my leave of Sir William Coventry (37), who, it seems, was knighted and sworn a Privy-Counsellor two days since; who with his old kindness treated me, and I believe I shall ever find (him) a noble friend.
Thence by water to Blackfriars, and so to Paul's churchyard and bespoke severall books, and so home and there dined, my man William giving me a lobster sent him by my old maid Sarah. This morning I met with Sir G. Carteret (55), who tells me how all things proceed between my Lord Sandwich (39) and himself to full content, and both sides depend upon having the match finished presently, and professed great kindnesse to me, and said that now we were something akin. I am mightily, both with respect to myself and much more of my Lord's family, glad of this alliance.
After dinner to White Hall, thinking to speak with my Lord Ashly (43), but failed, and I whiled away some time in Westminster Hall against he did come, in my way observing several plague houses in King's Street and [near] the Palace. Here I hear Mrs. Martin is gone out of town, and that her husband, an idle fellow, is since come out of France, as he pretends, but I believe not that he hath been. I was fearful of going to any house, but I did to the Swan, and thence to White Hall, giving the waterman a shilling, because a young fellow and belonging to the Plymouth.
Thence by coach to several places, and so home, and all the evening with Sir J. Minnes (66) and all the women of the house (excepting my Lady Batten) late in the garden chatting. At 12 o'clock home to supper and to bed. My Lord Sandwich (39) is gone towards the sea to-day, it being a sudden resolution, I having taken no leave of him.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 29 June 1665. 29 Jun 1665. Up and by water to White Hall, where the Court full of waggons and people ready to go out of towne. To the Harp and Ball, and there drank and talked with Mary, she telling me in discourse that she lived lately at my neighbour's, Mr. Knightly, which made me forbear further discourse. This end of the towne every day grows very bad of the plague. The Mortality Bill is come to 2671 which is about ninety more than the last: and of these but four in the City, which is a great blessing to us.
Thence to Creed, and with him up and down about Tangier business, to no purpose. Took leave again of Mr. Coventry (37); though I hope the Duke (31) has not gone to stay, and so do others too.
So home, calling at Somersett House, where all are packing up too: the Queene-Mother (55) setting out for France this day to drink Bourbon waters this year, she being in a consumption; and intends not to come till winter come twelvemonths2.
So by coach home, where at the office all the morning, and at noon Mrs. Hunt dined with us. Very merry, and she a very good woman.
To the office, where busy a while putting some things in my office in order, and then to letters till night. About 10 a'clock home, the days being sensibly shorter before I have once kept a summer's day by shutting up office by daylight; but my life hath been still as it was in winter almost. But I will for a month try what I can do by daylight.
So home to supper and to bed.
Note 1. According to the Bills of Mortality, the total number of deaths in London for the week ending June 27th was 684, of which number 267 were deaths from the plague. The number of deaths rose week by week until September 19th, when the total was 8,297, and the deaths from the plague 7,165. On September 26th the total had fallen to 6,460, and deaths from the plague to 5,533 The number fell gradually, week by week, till October 31st, when the total was 1,388, and deaths from the plague 1,031. On November 7th there was a rise to 1,787 and 1,414 respectively. On November 14th the numbers had gone down to 1,359 and 1,050 respectively. On December 12th the total had fallen to 442, and deaths from the plague to 243. On December 19th there was a rise to 525 and 281 respectively. The total of burials in 1665 was 97,506, of which number the plague claimed 68,596 victims.
Note 2. The Queen-Mother (55) never came to England again. She retired to her chateau at Colombes, near Paris, where she died in August, 1669, after a long illness; the immediate cause of her death being an opiate ordered by her physicians. She was buried, September 12th, in the church of St. Denis. Her funeral sermon was preached by Bossuet. Sir John Reresby speaks of Queen Henrietta Maria (26) in high terms. He says that in the winter, 1659-60, although the Court of France was very splendid, there was a greater resort to the Palais Royal, "the good humour and wit of our Queen Mother (55), and the beauty of the Princess Henrietta (21) her daughter, giving greater invitation than the more particular humour of the French Queen (26), being a Spaniard". In another place he says: "Her majesty had a great affection for England, notwithstanding the severe usage she and hers had received from it. Her discourse was much with the great men and ladies of France in praise of the people and of the country; of their courage, generosity, good nature; and would excuse all their miscarriages in relation to unfortunate effects of the late war, as if it were a convulsion of some desperate and infatuated persons, rather than from the genius and temper of the Kingdom" ("Memoirs of Sir John Reresby", ed. Cartwright, pp. 43, 45).

Read More ...

In Jul 1665 Charles II King England Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 (35) travelled to Salisbury during the Great Plague of London.

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 Painter 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

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 July 1665. 01 Jul 1665. Called up betimes, though weary and sleepy, by appointment by Mr. Povy (51) and Colonell Norwood (51) to discourse about some payments of Tangier. They gone, I to the office and there sat all the morning.
At noon dined at home, and then to the Duke of Albemarle's (56), by appointment, to give him an account of some disorder in the Yarde at Portsmouth, by workmen's going away of their owne accord, for lacke of money, to get work of hay-making, or any thing else to earne themselves bread1.
Thence to Westminster, where I hear the sicknesse encreases greatly, and to the Harp and Ball with Mary talking, who tells me simply her losing of her first love in the country in Wales, and coming up hither unknown to her friends, and it seems Dr. Williams do pretend love to her, and I have found him there several times.
Thence by coach and late at the office, and so to bed. Sad at the newes that seven or eight houses in Bazing Hall street, are shut up of the plague.
Note 1. There are several letters among the State Papers from Commissioner Thomas Middleton relating to the want of workmen at Portsmouth Dockyard. On June 29th Middleton wrote to Pepys, "The ropemakers have discharged themselves for want of money, and gone into the country to make hay". The blockmakers, the joiners, and the sawyers all refused to work longer without money ("Calendar", 1664-65, p. 453).

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 09 July 1665. 09 Jul 1665. Lord's Day. Very pleasant with her and among my people, while she made her ready, and, about 10 o'clock, by water to Sir G. Carteret (55), and there find my Lady [Sandwich] in her chamber, not very well, but looks the worst almost that ever I did see her in my life. It seems her drinking of the water at Tunbridge did almost kill her before she could with most violent physique get it out of her body again. We are received with most extraordinary kindnesse by my Baroness Carteret (63) and her children, and dined most nobly. Sir G. Carteret (55) went to Court this morning.
After dinner I took occasion to have much discourse with Mr. Ph. Carteret (24), and find him a very modest man; and I think verily of mighty good nature, and pretty understanding. He did give me a good account of the fight with the Dutch. My Lady Sandwich (40) dined in her chamber.
About three o'clock I, leaving my wife there, took boat and home, and there shifted myself into my black silke suit, and having promised Harman (28) yesterday, I to his house, which I find very mean, and mean company. His wife very ill; I could not see her. Here I, with her father and Kate Joyce, who was also very ill, were godfathers and godmother to his boy, and was christened Will. Mr. Meriton christened him. The most observable thing I found there to my content, was to hear him and his clerk tell me that in this parish of Michell's, Cornhill, one of the middlemost parishes and a great one of the towne, there hath, notwithstanding this sickliness, been buried of any disease, man, woman, or child, not one for thirteen months last past; which [is] very strange. And the like in a good degree in most other parishes, I hear, saving only of the plague in them, but in this neither the plague nor any other disease.
So back again home and reshifted myself, and so down to my Baroness Carteret's (63), where mighty merry and great pleasantnesse between my Lady Sandwich (40) and the young ladies and me, and all of us mighty merry, there never having been in the world sure a greater business of general content than this match proposed between Mr. Carteret (24) and my Lady Jemimah. But withal it is mighty pretty to think how my poor Lady Sandwich (40), between her and me, is doubtfull whether her daughter will like of it or no, and how troubled she is for fear of it, which I do not fear at all, and desire her not to do it, but her fear is the most discreet and pretty that ever I did see.
Late here, and then my wife and I, with most hearty kindnesse from my Baroness Carteret (63) by boat to Woolwich, come thither about 12 at night, and so to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 11 July 1665. 11 Jul 1665. And so all night down by water, a most pleasant passage, and come thither by two o'clock, and so walked from the Old Swan home, and there to bed to my Will, being very weary, and he lodging at my desire in my house.
At 6 o'clock up and to Westminster (where and all the towne besides, I hear, the plague encreases), and, it being too soon to go to the Duke of Albemarle (56), I to the Harp and Ball, and there made a bargain with Mary to go forth with me in the afternoon, which she with much ado consented to.
So I to the Duke of Albemarle's (56), and there with much ado did get his consent in part to my having the money promised for Tangier, and the other part did not concur. So being displeased with this, I back to the office and there sat alone a while doing business, and then by a solemn invitation to the Trinity House, where a great dinner and company, Captain Dobbin's feast for Elder Brother. But I broke up before the dinner half over and by water to the Harp and Ball, and thence had Mary meet me at the New Exchange, and there took coach and I with great pleasure took the ayre to Highgate, and thence to Hampstead, much pleased with her company, pretty and innocent, and had what pleasure almost I would with her, and so at night, weary and sweaty, it being very hot beyond bearing, we back again, and I set her down in St. Martin's Lane, and so I to the evening 'Change, and there hear all the towne full that Ostend is delivered to us, and that Alderman Backewell (47)1 did go with £50,000 to that purpose. But the truth of it I do not know, but something I believe there is extraordinary in his going.
So to the office, where I did what I could as to letters, and so away to bed, shifting myself, and taking some Venice treakle, feeling myself out of order, and thence to bed to sleep.
Note 1. Among the State Papers is a letter from the King (35) to the Lord General (dated August 8th, 1665): "Alderman Backwell (47) being in great straits for the second payment he has to make for the service in Flanders, as much tin is to be transmitted to him as will raise the sum. Has authorized him and Sir George Carteret (55) to treat with the tin farmers for 500 tons of tin to be speedily transported under good convoy; but if, on consulting with Alderman Backwell (47), this plan of the tin seems insufficient, then without further difficulty he is to dispose for that purpose of the £10,000 assigned for pay of the Guards, not doubting that before that comes due, other ways will be found for supplying it; the payment in Flanders is of such importance that some means must be found of providing for it" (Calendar, Domestic, 1664-65, pp. 508, 509).

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 July 1665. 12 Jul 1665. After doing what business I could in the morning, it being a solemn fast-day1 for the plague growing upon us, I took boat and down to Deptford, where I stood with great pleasure an houre or two by my Lady Sandwich's (40) bedside, talking to her (she lying prettily in bed) of my Lady Jemimah's being from my Lady Pickering's (39) when our letters come to that place; she being at my Lord Montagu's, at Boughton. The truth is, I had received letters of it two days ago, but had dropped them, and was in a very extraordinary straite what to do for them, or what account to give my Lady, but sent to every place; I sent to Moreclacke, where I had been the night before, and there they were found, which with mighty joy come safe to me; but all ending with satisfaction to my Lady and me, though I find my Baroness Carteret (63) not much pleased with this delay, and principally because of the plague, which renders it unsafe to stay long at Deptford.
I eat a bit (my Baroness Carteret (63) being the most kind lady in the world), and so took boat, and a fresh boat at the Tower, and so up the river, against tide all the way, I having lost it by staying prating to and with my Lady, and, from before one, made it seven ere we got to Hampton Court; and when I come there all business was over, saving my finding Mr. Coventry (37) at his chamber, and with him a good while about several businesses at his chamber, and so took leave, and away to my boat, and all night upon the water, staying a while with Nan at Moreclacke, very much pleased and merry with her, and so on homeward, and come home by two o'clock, shooting the bridge at that time of night, and so to bed, where I find Will is not, he staying at Woolwich to come with my wife to dinner tomorrow to my Baroness Carteret's (63).
Heard Mr. Williamson (31) repeat at Hampton Court to-day how the King of France (26) hath lately set out a most high arrest against the Pope, which is reckoned very lofty and high2.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 July 1665. 13 Jul 1665. Lay long, being sleepy, and then up to the office, my Lord Bruncker (45) (after his sickness) being come to the office, and did what business there was, and so I by water, at night late, to Sir G. Carteret's (55), but there being no oars to carry me, I was fain to call a skuller that had a gentleman already in it, and he proved a man of love to musique, and he and I sung together the way down with great pleasure, and an incident extraordinary to be met with.
There come to dinner, they haveing dined, but my Lady caused something to be brought for me, and I dined well and mighty merry, especially my Lady Slaning and I about eating of creame and brown bread, which she loves as much as I Thence after long discourse with them and my Lady alone, I and [my] wife, who by agreement met here, took leave, and I saw my wife a little way down (it troubling me that this absence makes us a little strange instead of more fond), and so parted, and I home to some letters, and then home to bed. Above 700 died of the plague this week.
Note 1. "A form of Common Prayer; together with an order for fasting for the averting of God's heavy visitation upon many places of this realm. The fast to be observed within the cities of London and Westminster and places adjacent, on Wednesday the twelfth of this instant July, and both there and in all parts of this realm on the first Wednesday in every month during the visitation" ("Calendar of State Papers", Domestic, 1664-65, p. 466).
Note 2. Arret. The rupture between Alexander VII and Louis XIV. was healed in 1664, by the treaty signed at Pisa, on February 12th. On August 9th, the pope's nephew, Cardinal Chigi, made his entry into Paris, as legate, to give the King (35) satisfaction for the insult offered at Rome by the Corsican guard to the Duc de Crequi, the French ambassador; (see January 25th, 1662-63). Cardinal Imperiali, Governor of Rome, asked pardon of the King (35) in person, and all the hard conditions of the treaty were fulfilled. But no arret against the pope was set forth in 1665. On the contrary, Alexander, now wishing to please the King (35), issued a constitution on February 2nd, 1665, ordering all the clergy of France, without any exception, to sign a formulary condemning the famous five propositions extracted from the works of Jansenius; and on April 29th, the King (35) in person ordered the parliament to register the bull. The Jansenist party, of course, demurred to this proceeding; the Bishops of Alais, Angers, Beauvais, and Pamiers, issuing mandates calling upon their clergy to refuse. It was against these mandates, as being contrary to the King's declaration and the pope's intentions, that the arret was directed. B.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 16 July 1665. 16 Jul 1665. There died of the plague in London this week 1,100; and in the week following, above 2,000. Two houses were shut up in our parish.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 July 1665. 18 Jul 1665. Up and to the office, where all the morning, and so to my house and eat a bit of victuals, and so to the 'Change, where a little business and a very thin Exchange; and so walked through London to the Temple, where I took water for Westminster to the Duke of Albemarle (56), to wait on him, and so to Westminster Hall, and there paid for my newes-books, and did give Mrs. Michell, who is going out of towne because of the sicknesse, and her husband, a pint of wine, and so Sir W. Warren coming to me by appointment we away by water home, by the way discoursing about the project I have of getting some money and doing the King (35) good service too about the mast docke at Woolwich, which I fear will never be done if I do not go about it.
After dispatching letters at the office, I by water down to Deptford, where I staid a little while, and by water to my wife, whom I have not seen 6 or 5 days, and there supped with her, and mighty pleasant, and saw with content her drawings, and so to bed mighty merry. I was much troubled this day to hear at Westminster how the officers do bury the dead in the open Tuttle-fields, pretending want of room elsewhere; whereas the New Chappell churchyard was walled-in at the publick charge in the last plague time, merely for want of room and now none, but such as are able to pay dear for it, can be buried there.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 July 1665. 20 Jul 1665. Up, in a boat among other people to the Tower, and there to the office, where we sat all the morning.
So down to Deptford and there dined, and after dinner saw my Lady Sandwich (40) and Mr. Carteret (24) and his two sisters over the water, going to Dagenhams, and my Baroness Carteret (63) towards Cranburne1. So all the company broke up in most extraordinary joy, wherein I am mighty contented that I have had the good fortune to be so instrumental, and I think it will be of good use to me.
So walked to Redriffe, where I hear the sickness is, and indeed is scattered almost every where, there dying 1089 of the plague this week. My Baroness Carteret (63) did this day give me a bottle of plague-water home with me.
So home to write letters late, and then home to bed, where I have not lain these 3 or 4 nights. I received yesterday a letter from my Lord Sandwich (39), giving me thanks for my care about their marriage business, and desiring it to be dispatched, that no disappointment may happen therein, which I will help on all I can.
This afternoon I waited on the Duke of Albemarle (56), and so to Mrs. Croft's, where I found and saluted Mrs. Burrows, who is a very pretty woman for a mother of so many children. But, Lord! to see how the plague spreads. It being now all over King's Streete, at the Axe, and next door to it, and in other places.
Note 1. The royal lodge of that name in Windsor Forest, occupied by Sir George Carteret (55) as Vice-Chamberlain to the King (35). B.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 21 July 1665. 21 Jul 1665. Up and abroad to the goldsmiths, to see what money I could get upon my present tallys upon the advance of the Excise, and I hope I shall get £10,000. I went also and had them entered at the Excise Office. Alderman Backewell (47) is at sea. Sir R. Viner (34) come to towne but this morning. So Colvill was the only man I could yet speak withal to get any money of. Met with Mr. Povy (51), and I with him and dined at the Custom House Taverne, there to talk of our Tangier business, and Stockedale and Hewet with us.
So abroad to several places, among others to Anthony_Joyce_1668's, and there broke to him my desire to have Pall married to Harman (28), whose wife, poor woman, is lately dead, to my trouble, I loving her very much, and he will consider it.
So home and late at my chamber, setting some papers in order; the plague growing very raging, and my apprehensions of it great. So very late to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 July 1665. 22 Jul 1665. As soon as up I among my goldsmiths, Sir Robert Viner (34) and Colvill, and there got £10,000 of my new tallys accepted, and so I made it my work to find out Mr. Mervin and sent for others to come with their Bills of Exchange, as Captain Hewett, &c., and sent for Mr. Jackson, but he was not in town.
So all the morning at the office, and after dinner, which was very late, I to Sir R. Viner's (34), by his invitation in the morning, and got near £5000 more accepted, and so from this day the whole, or near, £15,000, lies upon interest.
Thence I by water to Westminster, and the Duke of Albemarle (56) being gone to dinner to my Lord of Canterbury's (67), I thither, and there walked and viewed the new hall, a new old-fashion hall as much as possible. Begun, and means left for the ending of it, by Bishop Juxon (83).
Not coming proper to speak with him, I to Fox-Hall, where to the Spring garden; but I do not see one guest there, the town being so empty of any body to come thither. Only, while I was there, a poor woman come to scold with the master of the house that a kinswoman, I think, of hers, that was newly dead of the plague, might be buried in the church-yard; for, for her part, she should not be buried in the commons, as they said she should.
Back to White Hall, and by and by comes the Duke of Albemarle (56), and there, after a little discourse, I by coach home, not meeting with but two coaches, and but two carts from White Hall to my own house, that I could observe; and the streets mighty thin of people. I met this noon with Dr. Burnett, who told me, and I find in the newsbook this week that he posted upon the 'Change, that whoever did spread the report that, instead of the plague, his servant was by him killed, it was forgery, and shewed me the acknowledgment of the master of the pest-house, that his servant died of a bubo on his right groine, and two spots on his right thigh, which is the plague.
To my office, where late writing letters, and getting myself prepared with business for Hampton Court to-morrow, and so having caused a good pullet to be got for my supper, all alone, I very late to bed. All the news is great: that we must of necessity fall out with France, for He will side with the Dutch against us. That Alderman Backewell (47) is gone over (which indeed he is) with money, and that Ostend is in our present possession. But it is strange to see how poor Alderman Backewell (47) is like to be put to it in his absence, Mr. Shaw his right hand being ill. And the Alderman's absence gives doubts to people, and I perceive they are in great straits for money, besides what Sir G. Carteret (55) told me about fourteen days ago. Our fleet under my Lord Sandwich (39) being about the latitude 55 (which is a great secret) to the Northward of the Texell.
So to bed very late. In my way I called upon Sir W. Turner (49), and at Mr. Shelcrosse's (but he was not at home, having left his bill with Sir W. Turner (49)), that so I may prove I did what I could as soon as I had money to answer all bills.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 July 1665. 25 Jul 1665. Our good humour in every body continuing, and there I slept till seven o'clock. Then up and to the office, well refreshed, my eye only troubling me, which by keeping a little covered with my handkercher and washing now and then with cold water grew better by night.
At noon to the 'Change, which was very thin, and thence homeward, and was called in by Mr. Rawlinson, with whom I dined and some good company very harmlessly merry. But sad the story of the plague in the City, it growing mightily. This day my Lord Bruncker (45) did give me Mr. Grant's' (45) book upon the Bills of Mortality, new printed and enlarged.
Thence to my office awhile, full of business, and thence by coach to the Duke of Albemarle's (56), not meeting one coach going nor coming from my house thither and back again, which is very strange. One of my chief errands was to speak to Sir W. Clerke (42) about my wife's brother, who importunes me, and I doubt he do want mightily, but I can do little for him there as to employment in the army, and out of my purse I dare not for fear of a precedent, and letting him come often to me is troublesome and dangerous too, he living in the dangerous part of the town, but I will do what I can possibly for him and as soon as I can.
Mightily troubled all this afternoon with masters coming to me about Bills of Exchange and my signing them upon my Goldsmiths, but I did send for them all and hope to ease myself this weeke of all the clamour.
These two or three days Mr. Shaw at Alderman Backewell's (47) hath lain sick, like to die, and is feared will not live a day to an end.
At night home and to bed, my head full of business, and among others, this day come a letter to me from Paris from my Lord Hinchingbrooke (17), about his coming over; and I have sent this night an order from the Duke of Albemarle (56) for a ship of 36 guns to [go] to Calais to fetch him.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 July 1665. 26 Jul 1665. Up, and after doing a little business, down to Deptford with Sir W. Batten (64), and there left him, and I to Greenwich to the Park, where I hear the King (35) and Duke (31) are come by water this morn from Hampton Court. They asked me several questions. The King (35) mightily pleased with his new buildings there. I followed them to Castle's (36) ship in building, and there, met Sir W. Batten (64), and thence to Sir G. Carteret's (55), where all the morning with them; they not having any but the Duke of Monmouth (16), and Sir W. Killigrew (59), and one gentleman, and a page more. Great variety of talk, and was often led to speak to the King (35) and Duke (31).
By and by they to dinner, and all to dinner and sat down to the King (35) saving myself, which, though I could not in modesty expect, yet, God forgive my pride! I was sorry I was there, that Sir W. Batten (64) should say that he could sit down where I could not, though he had twenty times more reason than I, but this was my pride and folly. I down and walked with Mr. Castle (36), who told me the design of Ford and Rider to oppose and do all the hurt they can to Captain Taylor in his new ship "The London", and how it comes, and that they are a couple of false persons, which I believe, and withal that he himself is a knave too.
He and I by and by to dinner mighty nobly, and the King (35) having dined, he come down, and I went in the barge with him, I sitting at the door.
Down to Woolwich (and there I just saw and kissed my wife, and saw some of her painting, which is very curious; and away again to the King (35)) and back again with him in the barge, hearing him and the Duke (31) talk, and seeing and observing their manner of discourse. And God forgive me! though I admire them with all the duty possible, yet the more a man considers and observes them, the less he finds of difference between them and other men, though (blessed be God!) they are both princes of great nobleness and spirits. The barge put me into another boat that come to our side, Mr. Holder with a bag of gold to the Duke (31), and so they away and I home to the office.
The Duke of Monmouth (16) is the most skittish leaping gallant that ever I saw, always in action, vaulting or leaping, or clambering.
Thence mighty full of the honour of this day, I took coach and to Kate Joyce's, but she not within, but spoke with Anthony, who tells me he likes well of my proposal for Pall to Harman (28), but I fear that less than £500 will not be taken, and that I shall not be able to give, though I did not say so to him. After a little other discourse and the sad news of the death of so many in the parish of the plague, forty last night, the bell always going, I back to the Exchange, where I went up and sat talking with my beauty, Mrs. Batelier, a great while, who is indeed one of the finest women I ever saw in my life. After buying some small matter, I home, and there to the office and saw Sir J. Minnes (66) now come from Portsmouth, I home to set my Journall for these four days in order, they being four days of as great content and honour and pleasure to me as ever I hope to live or desire, or think any body else can live. For methinks if a man would but reflect upon this, and think that all these things are ordered by God Almighty to make me contented, and even this very marriage now on foot is one of the things intended to find me content in, in my life and matter of mirth, methinks it should make one mightily more satisfied in the world than he is. This day poor Robin Shaw at Backewell's died, and Backewell himself now in Flanders. The King (35) himself asked about Shaw, and being told he was dead, said he was very sorry for it. The sicknesse is got into our parish this week, and is got, indeed, every where; so that I begin to think of setting things in order, which I pray God enable me to put both as to soul and body.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 July 1665. 30 Jul 1665. Lord's Day. Up, and in my night gowne, cap and neckcloth, undressed all day long, lost not a minute, but in my chamber, setting my Tangier accounts to rights. Which I did by night to my very heart's content, not only that it is done, but I find every thing right, and even beyond what, after so long neglecting them, I did hope for. The Lord of Heaven be praised for it!
Will was with me to-day, and is very well again. It was a sad noise to hear our bell to toll and ring so often to-day, either for deaths or burials; I think five or six times. At night weary with my day's work, but full of joy at my having done it, I to bed, being to rise betimes tomorrow to go to the wedding at Dagenhams.
So to bed, fearing I have got some cold sitting in my loose garments all this day.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 31 July 1665. 31 Jul 1665. Up, and very betimes by six o'clock at Deptford, and there find Sir G. Carteret (55), and my Lady (63) ready to go: I being in my new coloured silk suit, and coat trimmed with gold buttons and gold broad lace round my hands, very rich and fine. By water to the Ferry, where, when we come, no coach there; and tide of ebb so far spent as the horse-boat could not get off on the other side the river to bring away the coach. So we were fain to stay there in the unlucky Isle of Doggs, in a chill place, the morning cool, and wind fresh, above two if not three hours to our great discontent. Yet being upon a pleasant errand, and seeing that it could not be helped, we did bear it very patiently; and it was worth my observing, I thought, as ever any thing, to see how upon these two scores, Sir G. Carteret (55), the most passionate man in the world, and that was in greatest haste to be gone, did bear with it, and very pleasant all the while, at least not troubled much so as to fret and storm at it. Anon the coach comes: in the mean time there coming a News thither with his horse to go over, that told us he did come from Islington this morning; and that Proctor the vintner of the Miter in Wood-street, and his son, are dead this morning there, of the plague; he having laid out abundance of money there, and was the greatest vintner for some time in London for great entertainments. We, fearing the canonicall hour would be past before we got thither, did with a great deal of unwillingness send away the license and wedding ring. So that when we come, though we drove hard with six horses, yet we found them gone from home; and going towards the church, met them coming from church, which troubled us. But, however, that trouble was soon over; hearing it was well done: they being both in their old cloaths; my Lord Crew (67) giving her, there being three coach fulls of them. The young lady mighty sad, which troubled me; but yet I think it was only her gravity in a little greater degree than usual. All saluted her, but I did not till my Lady Sandwich (40) did ask me whether I had saluted her or no.
So to dinner, and very merry we were; but yet in such a sober way as never almost any wedding was in so great families: but it was much better.
After dinner company divided, some to cards, others to talk. My Lady Sandwich (40) and I up to settle accounts, and pay her some money. And mighty kind she is to me, and would fain have had me gone down for company with her to Hinchingbroke; but for my life I cannot.
At night to supper, and so to talk; and which, methought, was the most extraordinary thing, all of us to prayers as usual, and the young bride and bridegroom (24) too and so after prayers, soberly to bed; only I got into the bridegroom's (24) chamber while he undressed himself, and there was very merry, till he was called to the bride's chamber, and into bed they went. I kissed the bride in bed, and so the curtaines drawne with the greatest gravity that could be, and so good night. But the modesty and gravity of this business was so decent, that it was to me indeed ten times more delightfull than if it had been twenty times more merry and joviall. Whereas I feared I must have sat up all night, we did here all get good beds, and I lay in the same I did before with Mr. Brisband, who is a good scholler and sober man; and we lay in bed, getting him to give me an account of home, which is the most delightfull talke a man can have of any traveller: and so to sleep. My eyes much troubled already with the change of my drink.
Thus I ended this month with the greatest joy that ever I did any in my life, because I have spent the greatest part of it with abundance of joy, and honour, and pleasant journeys, and brave entertainments, and without cost of money; and at last live to see the business ended with great content on all sides. This evening with Mr. Brisband, speaking of enchantments and spells; I telling him some of my charms; he told me this of his owne knowledge, at Bourdeaux, in France. The words these:
Voyci un Corps mort, [Behold, a dead body]
Royde come un Baston, [Still as a stone]
Froid comme Marbre, [Cold as marble]
Leger come un esprit, [Light as a spirit]
Levons to au nom de Jesus Christ. [We lift you in the name of Jesus Christ.]
He saw four little girles, very young ones, all kneeling, each of them, upon one knee; and one begun the first line, whispering in the eare of the next, and the second to the third, and the third to the fourth, and she to the first. Then the first begun the second line, and so round quite through, and, putting each one finger only to a boy that lay flat upon his back on the ground, as if he was dead; at the end of the words, they did with their four fingers raise this boy as high as they could reach, and he [Mr. Brisband] being there, and wondering at it, as also being afeard to see it, for they would have had him to have bore a part in saying the words, in the roome of one of the little girles that was so young that they could hardly make her learn to repeat the words, did, for feare there might be some sleight used in it by the boy, or that the boy might be light, call the cook of the house, a very lusty fellow, as Sir G. Carteret's (55) cook, who is very big, and they did raise him in just the same manner. This is one of the strangest things I ever heard, but he tells it me of his owne knowledge, and I do heartily believe it to be true. I enquired of him whether they were Protestant or Catholique girles; and he told me they were Protestant, which made it the more strange to me.
Thus we end this month, as I said, after the greatest glut of content that ever I had; only under some difficulty because of the plague, which grows mightily upon us, the last week being about 1700 or 1800 of the plague. My Lord Sandwich (40) at sea with a fleet of about 100 sail, to the Northward, expecting De Ruyter (58), or the Dutch East India fleet. My Lord Hinchingbrooke (17) coming over from France, and will meet his sister at Scott's-hall. Myself having obliged both these families in this business very much; as both my Lady, and Sir G. Carteret (55) and his Lady (63) do confess exceedingly, and the latter do also now call me cozen, which I am glad of. So God preserve us all friends long, and continue health among us.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 02 August 1665. 02 Aug 1665. Up, it being a publique fast, as being the first Wednesday of the month, for the plague; I within doors all day, and upon my monthly accounts late, and there to my great joy settled almost all my private matters of money in my books clearly, and allowing myself several sums which I had hitherto not reckoned myself sure of, because I would not be over sure of any thing, though with reason I might do it, I did find myself really worth £1900, for which the great God of Heaven and Earth be praised! At night to the office to write a few letters, and so home to bed, after fitting myself for tomorrow's journey.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 August 1665. 03 Aug 1665. Up, and betimes to Deptford to Sir G. Carteret's (55), where, not liking the horse that had been hired by Mr. Uthwayt for me, I did desire Sir G. Carteret (55) to let me ride his new £40 horse, which he did, and so I left my 'hacquenee'1 behind, and so after staying a good while in their bedchamber while they were dressing themselves, discoursing merrily, I parted and to the ferry, where I was forced to stay a great while before I could get my horse brought over, and then mounted and rode very finely to Dagenhams; all the way people, citizens, walking to and again to enquire how the plague is in the City this week by the Bill; which by chance, at Greenwich, I had heard was 2,020 of the plague, and 3,000 and odd of all diseases; but methought it was a sad question to be so often asked me.
Coming to Dagenhams, I there met our company coming out of the house, having staid as long as they could for me; so I let them go a little before, and went and took leave of my Lady Sandwich (40), good woman, who seems very sensible of my service in this late business, and having her directions in some things, among others, to get Sir G. Carteret (55) and my Lord to settle the portion, and what Sir G. Carteret (55) is to settle, into land, soon as may be, she not liking that it should lie long undone, for fear of death on either side.
So took leave of her, and then down to the buttery, and eat a piece of cold venison pie, and drank and took some bread and cheese in my hand; and so mounted after them, Mr. Marr very kindly staying to lead me the way.
By and by met my Lord Crew (67) returning, after having accompanied them a little way, and so after them, Mr. Marr telling me by the way how a mayde servant of Mr. John Wright's (who lives thereabouts) falling sick of the plague, she was removed to an out-house, and a nurse appointed to look to her; who, being once absent, the mayde got out of the house at the window, and run away. The nurse coming and knocking, and having no answer, believed she was dead, and went and told Mr. Wright so; who and his lady were in great strait what to do to get her buried. At last resolved to go to Burntwood hard by, being in the parish, and there get people to do it. But they would not; so he went home full of trouble, and in the way met the wench walking over the common, which frighted him worse than before; and was forced to send people to take her, which he did; and they got one of the pest coaches and put her into it to carry her to a pest house. And passing in a narrow lane, Sir Anthony Browne, with his brother and some friends in the coach, met this coach with the curtains drawn close. The brother being a young man, and believing there might be some lady in it that would not be seen, and the way being narrow, he thrust his head out of his own into her coach, and to look, and there saw somebody look very ill, and in a sick dress, and stunk mightily; which the coachman also cried out upon. And presently they come up to some people that stood looking after it, and told our gallants that it was a mayde of Mr. Wright's carried away sick of the plague; which put the young gentleman into a fright had almost cost him his life, but is now well again. I, overtaking our young people, 'light, and into the coach to them, where mighty merry all the way; and anon come to the Blockehouse, over against Gravesend, where we staid a great while, in a little drinking-house.
Sent back our coaches to Dagenhams. I, by and by, by boat to Gravesend, where no newes of Sir G. Carteret (55) come yet; so back again, and fetched them all over, but the two saddle-horses that were to go with us, which could not be brought over in the horseboat, the wind and tide being against us, without towing; so we had some difference with some watermen, who would not tow them over under 20s., whereupon I swore to send one of them to sea and will do it. Anon some others come to me and did it for 10s.
By and by comes Sir G. Carteret (55), and so we set out for Chatham: in my way overtaking some company, wherein was a lady, very pretty, riding singly, her husband in company with her. We fell into talke, and I read a copy of verses which her husband showed me, and he discommended, but the lady commended: and I read them, so as to make the husband turn to commend them.
By and by he and I fell into acquaintance, having known me formerly at the Exchequer. His name is Nokes, over against Bow Church. He was servant to Alderman Dashwood. We promised to meet, if ever we come both to London again; and, at parting, I had a fair salute on horseback, in Rochester streets, of the lady, and so parted.
Come to Chatham mighty merry, and anon to supper, it being near 9 o'clock ere we come thither. My Baroness Carteret (63) come thither in a coach, by herself, before us. Great mind they have to buy a little 'hacquenee' that I rode on from Greenwich, for a woman's horse. Mighty merry, and after supper, all being withdrawn, Sir G. Carteret (55) did take an opportunity to speak with much value and kindness to me, which is of great joy to me. So anon to bed. Mr. Brisband and I together to my content.
Note 1. Haquenee = an ambling nag fitted for ladies' riding.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 08 August 1665. 08 Aug 1665. I waited on the Duke of Albemarle (56), who was resolved to stay at the Cock-pit, in St. James's Park. Died this week in London, 4,000. See Great Plague of London.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 August 1665. 10 Aug 1665. Up betimes, and called upon early by my she-cozen Porter, the turner's wife, to tell me that her husband was carried to the Tower, for buying of some of the King's powder, and would have my helpe, but I could give her none, not daring any more to appear in the business, having too much trouble lately therein.
By and by to the office, where we sat all the morning; in great trouble to see the Bill this week rise so high, to above 4,000 in all, and of them above 3,000 of the plague. And an odd story of Alderman Bence's stumbling at night over a dead corps in the streete, and going home and telling his wife, she at the fright, being with child, fell sicke and died of the plague.
We sat late, and then by invitation my Lord Bruncker (45), Sir J. Minnes (66), Sir W. Batten (64) and I to Sir G. Smith's (50) to dinner, where very good company and good cheer. Captain Cocke (48) was there and Jacke Fenn, but to our great wonder Alderman Bence, and tells us that not a word of all this is true, and others said so too, but by his owne story his wife hath been ill, and he fain to leave his house and comes not to her, which continuing a trouble to me all the time I was there.
Thence to the office and, after writing letters, home, to draw-over anew my will, which I had bound myself by oath to dispatch by to-morrow night; the town growing so unhealthy, that a man cannot depend upon living two days to an end. So having done something of it, I to bed.

Read More ...

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.

John Evelyn's Diary 15 August 1665. 15 Aug 1665. There perished this week 5,000. See Great Plague of London.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 18 August 1665. 18 Aug 1665. Up about 5 o'clock and dressed ourselves, and to sayle again down to the Soveraigne at the buoy of the Nore, a noble ship, now rigged and fitted and manned; we did not stay long, but to enquire after her readinesse and thence to Sheernesse, where we walked up and down, laying out the ground to be taken in for a yard to lay provisions for cleaning and repairing of ships, and a most proper place it is for the purpose.
Thence with great pleasure up the Meadeway, our yacht contending with Commissioner Pett's (55), wherein he met us from Chatham, and he had the best of it. Here I come by, but had not tide enough to stop at Quinbrough, a with mighty pleasure spent the day in doing all and seeing these places, which I had never done before.
So to the Hill house at Chatham and there dined, and after dinner spent some time discoursing of business. Among others arguing with the Commissioner about his proposing the laying out so much money upon Sheerenesse, unless it be to the slighting of Chatham yarde, for it is much a better place than Chatham, which however the King (35) is not at present in purse to do, though it were to be wished he were.
Thence in Commissioner Pett's (55) coach (leaving them there). I late in the darke to Gravesend, where great is the plague, and I troubled to stay there so long for the tide.
At 10 at night, having supped, I took boat alone, and slept well all the way to the Tower docke about three o'clock in the morning. So knocked up my people, and to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 August 1665. 20 Aug 1665. Lord's Day. Sir G. Carteret (55) come and walked by my bedside half an houre, talking and telling me how my Lord is in this unblameable in all this ill-successe, he having followed orders; and that all ought to be imputed to the falsenesse of the King (35) of Denmarke, who, he told me as a secret, had promised to deliver up the Dutch ships to us, and we expected no less; and swears it will, and will easily, be the ruine of him and his kingdom, if we fall out with him, as we must in honour do; but that all that can be, must be to get the fleete out again to intercept De Witt, who certainly will be coming home with the East India ships, he being gone thither. He being gone, I up and with Fenn, being ready to walk forth to see the place; and I find it to be a very noble seat in a noble forest, with the noblest prospect towards Windsor, and round about over many countys, that can be desired; but otherwise a very melancholy place, and little variety save only trees. I had thoughts of going home by water, and of seeing Windsor Chappell and Castle, but finding at my coming in that Sir G. Carteret (55) did prevent me in speaking for my sudden return to look after business, I did presently eat a bit off the spit about 10 o'clock, and so took horse for Stanes, and thence to Brainford to Mr. Povy's (51), the weather being very pleasant to ride in. Mr. Povy (51) not being at home I lost my labour, only eat and drank there with his lady, and told my bad newes, and hear the plague is round about them there. So away to Brainford; and there at the inn that goes down to the water-side, I 'light and paid off my post-horses, and so slipped on my shoes, and laid my things by, the tide not serving, and to church, where a dull sermon, and many Londoners. After church to my inn, and eat and drank, and so about seven o'clock by water, and got between nine and ten to Queenhive, very dark. And I could not get my waterman to go elsewhere for fear of the plague.
Thence with a lanthorn, in great fear of meeting of dead corpses, carried to be buried; but, blessed be God, met none, but did see now and then a linke (which is the mark of them) at a distance. So got safe home about 10 o'clock, my people not all abed, and after supper I weary to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 August 1665. 22 Aug 1665. Up, and after much pleasant talke and being importuned by my wife and her two mayds, which are both good wenches, for me to buy a necklace of pearle for her, and I promising to give her one of £60 in two years at furthest, and in less if she pleases me in her painting, I went away and walked to Greenwich, in my way seeing a coffin with a dead body therein, dead of the plague, lying in an open close belonging to Coome farme, which was carried out last night, and the parish have not appointed any body to bury it; but only set a watch there day and night, that nobody should go thither or come thence, which is a most cruel thing: this disease making us more cruel to one another than if we are doggs.
So to the King's house, and there met my Lord Bruncker (45) and Sir J. Minnes (66), and to our lodgings again that are appointed for us, which do please me better to day than last night, and are set a doing.
Thence I to Deptford, where by appointment I find Mr. Andrews come, and to the Globe, where we dined together and did much business as to our Plymouth gentlemen; and after a good dinner and good discourse, he being a very good man, I think verily, we parted and I to the King's yard, walked up and down, and by and by out at the back gate, and there saw the Bagwell's wife's mother and daughter, and went to them, and went in to the daughter's house with the mother, and 'faciebam le cose que ego tenebam a mind to con elle', and drinking and talking, by and by away, and so walked to Redriffe, troubled to go through the little lane, where the plague is, but did and took water and home, where all well; but Mr. Andrews not coming to even accounts, as I expected, with relation to something of my own profit, I was vexed that I could not settle to business, but home to my viall, though in the evening he did come to my satisfaction. So after supper (he being gone first) I to settle my journall and to bed.
Note 1. I did whatever I had a mind to with her.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 August 1665. 25 Aug 1665. Up betimes to the office, and there, as well as all the afternoon, saving a little dinner time, all alone till late at night writing letters and doing business, that I may get beforehand with my business again, which hath run behind a great while, and then home to supper and to bed. This day I am told that Dr. Burnett, my physician, is this morning dead of the plague; which is strange, his man dying so long ago, and his house this month open again. Now himself dead. Poor unfortunate man!

John Evelyn's Diary 28 August 1665. 28 Aug 1665. The contagion still increasing, and growing now all about us, I sent my wife (30) and whole family (two or three necessary servants excepted) to my brother's at Wotton, being resolved to stay at my house myself, and to look after my charge, trusting in the providence and goodness of God.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 August 1665. 30 Aug 1665. Up betimes and to my business of settling my house and papers, and then abroad and met with Hadley, our clerke, who, upon my asking how the plague goes, he told me it encreases much, and much in our parish; for, says he, there died nine this week, though I have returned but six: which is a very ill practice, and makes me think it is so in other places; and therefore the plague much greater than people take it to be.
Thence, as I intended, to Sir R. Viner's (34), and there found not Mr. Lewes ready for me, so I went forth and walked towards Moorefields to see (God forbid my presumption!) whether I could see any dead corps going to the grave; but, as God would have it, did not. But, Lord! how every body's looks, and discourse in the street is of death, and nothing else, and few people going up and down, that the towne is like a place distressed and forsaken. After one turne there back to Viner's (34), and there found my business ready for me, and evened all reckonings with them to this day to my great content.
So home, and all day till very late at night setting my Tangier and private accounts in order, which I did in both, and in the latter to my great joy do find myself yet in the much best condition that ever I was in, finding myself worth £2180 and odd, besides plate and goods, which I value at £250 more, which is a very great blessing to me. The Lord make me thankfull! and of this at this day above £1800 in cash in my house, which speaks but little out of my hands in desperate condition, but this is very troublesome to have in my house at this time. So late to bed, well pleased with my accounts, but weary of being so long at them.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 31 August 1665. 31 Aug 1665. Up and, after putting several things in order to my removal, to Woolwich; the plague having a great encrease this week, beyond all expectation of almost 2,000, making the general Bill 7,000, odd 100; and the plague above 6,000.
I down by appointment to Greenwich, to our office, where I did some business, and there dined with our company and Sir W. Boreman, and Sir The. Biddulph, at Mr. Boreman's, where a good venison pasty, and after a good merry dinner I to my office, and there late writing letters, and then to Woolwich by water, where pleasant with my wife and people, and after supper to bed.
Thus this month ends with great sadness upon the publick, through the greatness of the plague every where through the Kingdom almost. Every day sadder and sadder news of its encrease. In the City died this week 7,496 and of them 6,102 of the plague. But it is feared that the true number of the dead, this week is near 10,000; partly from the poor that cannot be taken notice of, through the greatness of the number, and partly from the Quakers and others that will not have any bell ring for them.
Our fleete gone out to find the Dutch, we having about 100 sail in our fleete, and in them the Soveraigne one; so that it is a better fleete than the former with the Duke (31) was. All our fear is that the Dutch should be got in before them; which would be a very great sorrow to the publick, and to me particularly, for my Lord Sandwich's (40) sake. A great deal of money being spent, and the Kingdom not in a condition to spare, nor a parliament without much difficulty to meet to give more. And to that; to have it said, what hath been done by our late fleetes? As to myself I am very well, only in fear of the plague, and as much of an ague by being forced to go early and late to Woolwich, and my family to lie there continually. My late gettings have been very great to my great content, and am likely to have yet a few more profitable jobbs in a little while; for which Tangier, and Sir W. Warren I am wholly obliged to.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 September 1665. 03 Sep 1665. Lord's Day. Up; and put on my coloured silk suit very fine, and my new periwigg, bought a good while since, but durst not wear, because the plague was in Westminster when I bought it; and it is a wonder what will be the fashion after the plague is done, as to periwiggs, for nobody will dare to buy any haire, for fear of the infection, that it had been cut off of the heads of people dead of the plague. Before church time comes Mr. Hill (35) (Mr. Andrews (33) failing because he was to receive the Sacrament), and to church, where a sorry dull parson, and so home and most excellent company with Mr. Hill (35) and discourse of musique. I took my Lady Pen (41) home, and her daughter Pegg, and merry we were; and after dinner I made my wife show them her pictures, which did mad Pegg Pen, who learns of the same man and cannot do so well.
After dinner left them and I by water to Greenwich, where much ado to be suffered to come into the towne because of the sicknesse, for fear I should come from London, till I told them who I was. So up to the church, where at the door I find Captain Cocke (48) in my Lord Bruncker's (45) coach, and he come out and walked with me in the church-yarde till the church was done, talking of the ill government of our Kingdom, nobody setting to heart the business of the Kingdom, but every body minding their particular profit or pleasures, the King (35) himself minding nothing but his ease, and so we let things go to wracke. This arose upon considering what we shall do for money when the fleete comes in, and more if the fleete should not meet with the Dutch, which will put a disgrace upon the King's actions, so as the Parliament and Kingdom will have the less mind to give more money, besides so bad an account of the last money, we fear, will be given, not half of it being spent, as it ought to be, upon the Navy. Besides, it is said that at this day our Lord Treasurer (58) cannot tell what the profit of Chimney money is, what it comes to per annum, nor looks whether that or any other part of the revenue be duly gathered as it ought; the very money that should pay the City the £200,000 they lent the King (35), being all gathered and in the hands of the Receiver and hath been long and yet not brought up to pay the City, whereas we are coming to borrow 4 or £500,000 more of the City, which will never be lent as is to be feared.
Church being done, my Lord Bruncker (45), Sir J. Minnes (66), and I up to the Vestry at the desire of the justices of the Peace, Sir Theo. Biddulph (53) and Sir W. Boreman (53) and Alderman Hooker (53), in order to the doing something for the keeping of the plague from growing; but Lord! to consider the madness of the people of the town, who will (because they are forbid) come in crowds along with the dead corps to see them buried; but we agreed on some orders for the prevention thereof.
Among other stories, one was very passionate, methought, of a complaint brought against a man in the towne for taking a child from London from an infected house. Alderman Hooker (53) told us it was the child of a very able citizen in Gracious_Street, a saddler, who had buried all the rest of his children of the plague, and himself and wife now being shut up and in despair of escaping, did desire only to save the life of this little child; and so prevailed to have it received stark-naked into the arms of a friend, who brought it (having put it into new fresh clothes) to Greenwich; where upon hearing the story, we did agree it should be permitted to be received and kept in the towne.
Thence with my Lord Bruncker (45) to Captain Cocke's (48), where we mighty merry and supped, and very late I by water to Woolwich, in great apprehensions of an ague. Here was my Lord Bruncker's (45) lady of pleasure, who, I perceive, goes every where with him; and he, I find, is obliged to carry her, and make all the courtship to her that can be.
Note 1. TT. Assumed to be Abigail Clere aka Williams Actor who William Brouncker 2nd Viscount Brounckner 1620-1684 (45) lived with for many years.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 September 1665. 04 Sep 1665. Writing letters all the morning, among others to my Baroness Carteret (63), the first I have wrote to her, telling her the state of the city as to health and other sorrowfull stories, and thence after dinner to Greenwich, to Sir J. Minnes (66), where I found my Lord Bruncker (45), and having staid our hour for the justices by agreement, the time being past we to walk in the Park with Mr. Hammond and Turner, and there eat some fruit out of the King's garden and walked in the Parke, and so back to Sir J. Minnes (66), and thence walked home, my Lord Bruncker (45) giving me a very neat cane to walk with; but it troubled me to pass by Coome farme where about twenty-one people have died of the plague, and three or four days since I saw a dead corps in a coffin lie in the Close unburied, and a watch is constantly kept there night and day to keep the people in, the plague making us cruel, as doggs, one to another.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 September 1665. 06 Sep 1665. Busy all the morning writing letters to several, so to dinner, to London, to pack up more things thence; and there I looked into the street and saw fires burning in the street, as it is through the whole City, by the Lord Mayor's order.
Thence by water to the Duke of Albemarle's (56): all the way fires on each side of the Thames, and strange to see in broad daylight two or three burials upon the Bankeside, one at the very heels of another: doubtless all of the plague; and yet at least forty or fifty people going along with every one of them.
The Duke (31) mighty pleasant with me; telling me that he is certainly informed that the Dutch were not come home upon the 1st instant, and so he hopes our fleete may meet with them, and here to my great joy I got him to sign bills for the several sums I have paid on Tangier business by his single letter, and so now I can get more hands to them. This was a great joy to me: Home to Woolwich late by water, found wife in bed, and yet late as [it] was to write letters in order to my rising betimes to go to Povy (51) to-morrow.
So to bed, my wife asking me to-night about a letter of hers I should find, which indeed Mary did the other day give me as if she had found it in my bed, thinking it had been mine, brought to her from a man without name owning great kindness to her and I know not what. But looking it over seriously, and seeing it bad sense and ill writ, I did believe it to be her brother's and so had flung it away, but finding her now concerned at it and vexed with Mary about it, it did trouble me, but I would take no notice of it to-night, but fell to sleep as if angry.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 September 1665. 07 Sep 1665. Up by 5 of the clock, mighty full of fear of an ague, but was obliged to go, and so by water, wrapping myself up warm, to the Tower, and there sent for the Weekely Bill, and find 8,252 dead in all, and of them 6,878 of the plague; which is a most dreadfull number, and shows reason to fear that the plague hath got that hold that it will yet continue among us.
Thence to Brainford, reading "The Villaine", a pretty good play, all the way. There a coach of Mr. Povy's (51) stood ready for me, and he at his house ready to come in, and so we together merrily to Swakely, Sir R. Viner's (34). A very pleasant place, bought by him of Sir James Harrington's (57) lady (48). He took us up and down with great respect, and showed us all his house and grounds; and it is a place not very moderne in the garden nor house, but the most uniforme in all that ever I saw; and some things to excess. Pretty to see over the screene of the hall (put up by Sir Mr. Harrington (57), a Long Parliamentman) the King's head, and my Lord of Essex (33) on one side, and Fairfax on the other; and upon the other side of the screene, the parson of the parish, and the lord of the manor and his sisters. The window-cases, door-cases, and chimnys of all the house are marble. He showed me a black boy that he had, that died of a consumption, and being dead, he caused him to be dried in an oven, and lies there entire in a box.
By and by to dinner, where his lady I find yet handsome, but hath been a very handsome woman; now is old. Hath brought him near £100,000 and now he lives, no man in England in greater plenty, and commands both King and Council with his credit he gives them. Here was a fine lady a merchant's wife at dinner with us, and who should be here in the quality of a woman but Mrs. Worship's daughter, Dr. Clerke's niece, and after dinner Sir Robert (34) led us up to his Long gallery, very fine, above stairs (and better, or such, furniture I never did see), and there Mrs. Worship did give us three or four very good songs, and sings very neatly, to my great delight.
After all this, and ending the chief business to my content about getting a promise of some money of him, we took leave, being exceedingly well treated here, and a most pleasant journey we had back, Povy (51) and I, and his company most excellent in anything but business, he here giving me an account of as many persons at Court as I had a mind or thought of enquiring after. He tells me by a letter he showed me, that the King (35) is not, nor hath been of late, very well, but quite out of humour; and, as some think, in a consumption, and weary of every thing. He showed me my Lord Arlington's (47) house that he was born in, in a towne called Harlington: and so carried me through a most pleasant country to Brainford, and there put me into my boat, and good night. So I wrapt myself warm, and by water got to Woolwich about one in the morning, my wife and all in bed.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 07 September 1665. 07 Sep 1665. Came home, there perishing near 10,000 poor creatures weekly; however, I went all along the city and suburbs from Kent Street to St James', a dismal passage, and dangerous to see so many coffins exposed in the streets, now thin of people; the shops shut up, and all in mournful silence, not knowing whose turn might be next. I went to the Duke of Albemarle (56) for a pest-ship, to wait on our infected men, who were not a few. See Great Plague of London.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 September 1665. 14 Sep 1665. Up, and walked to Greenwich, and there fitted myself in several businesses to go to London, where I have not been now a pretty while. But before I went from the office newes is brought by word of mouth that letters are now just now brought from the fleete of our taking a great many more of the Dutch fleete, in which I did never more plainly see my command of my temper in my not admitting myself to receive any kind of joy from it till I had heard the certainty of it, and therefore went by water directly to the Duke of Albemarle (56), where I find a letter of the Lath from Solebay, from my Lord Sandwich (40), of the fleete's meeting with about eighteen more of the Dutch fleete, and his taking of most of them; and the messenger says, they had taken three after the letter was wrote and sealed; which being twenty-one, and the fourteen took the other day, is forty-five sail; some of which are good, and others rich ships, which is so great a cause of joy in us all that my Lord and everybody is highly joyed thereat. And having taken a copy of my Lord's letter, I away back again to the Beare at the bridge foot, being full of wind and out of order, and there called for a biscuit and a piece of cheese and gill of sacke, being forced to walk over the Bridge, toward the 'Change, and the plague being all thereabouts.
Here my news was highly welcome, and I did wonder to see the 'Change so full, I believe 200 people; but not a man or merchant of any fashion, but plain men all. And Lord! to see how I did endeavour all I could to talk with as few as I could, there being now no observation of shutting up of houses infected, that to be sure we do converse and meet with people that have the plague upon them. I to Sir Robert Viner's (34), where my main business was about settling the business of Debusty's £5000 tallys, which I did for the present to enable me to have some money, and so home, buying some things for my wife in the way.
So home, and put up several things to carry to Woolwich, and upon serious thoughts I am advised by W. Griffin to let my money and plate rest there, as being as safe as any place, nobody imagining that people would leave money in their houses now, when all their families are gone. So for the present that being my opinion, I did leave them there still. But, Lord! to see the trouble that it puts a man to, to keep safe what with pain a man hath been getting together, and there is good reason for it.
Down to the office, and there wrote letters to and again about this good newes of our victory, and so by water home late. Where, when I come home I spent some thoughts upon the occurrences of this day, giving matter for as much content on one hand and melancholy on another, as any day in all my life. For the first; the finding of my money and plate, and all safe at London, and speeding in my business of money this day.
The hearing of this good news to such excess, after so great a despair of my Lord's doing anything this year; adding to that, the decrease of 500 and more, which is the first decrease we have yet had in the sickness since it begun: and great hopes that the next week it will be greater.
Then, on the other side, my finding that though the Bill in general is abated, yet the City within the walls is encreased, and likely to continue so, and is close to our house there. My meeting dead corpses of the plague, carried to be buried close to me at noon-day through the City in Fanchurch-street. To see a person sick of the sores, carried close by me by Gracechurch in a hackney-coach. My finding the Angell tavern, at the lower end of Tower-hill shut up, and more than that, the alehouse at the Tower-stairs, and more than that, the person was then dying of the plague when I was last there, a little while ago, at night, to write a short letter there, and I overheard the mistresse of the house sadly saying to her husband somebody was very ill, but did not think it was of the plague.
To hear that poor Payne, my waiter, hath buried a child, and is dying himself. To hear that a labourer I sent but the other day to Dagenhams, to know how they did there, is dead of the plague; and that one of my own watermen, that carried me daily, fell sick as soon as he had landed me on Friday morning last, when I had been all night upon the water (and I believe he did get his infection that day at Brainford), and is now dead of the plague. To hear that Captain Lambert and Cuttle are killed in the taking these ships; and that Mr. Sidney Montague (84) is sick of a desperate fever at my Baroness Carteret's (63), at Scott's-hall. To hear that Mr. Lewes hath another daughter sick.
And, lastly, that both my servants, W. Hewer (23) and Tom Edwards, have lost their fathers, both in St. Sepulchre's parish, of the plague this week, do put me into great apprehensions of melancholy, and with good reason. But I put off the thoughts of sadness as much as I can, and the rather to keep my wife in good heart and family also. After supper (having eat nothing all this day) upon a fine tench of Mr. Shelden's taking, we to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 September 1665. 20 Sep 1665. Called up by Captain Cocke (48) (who was last night put into great trouble upon his boy's being rather worse than better, upon which he removed him out of his house to his stable), who told me that to my comfort his boy was now as well as ever he was in his life.
So I up, and after being trimmed, the first time I have been touched by a barber these twelvemonths, I think, and more, went to Sir J. Minnes's (66), where I find all out of order still, they having not seen one another till by and by Sir J. Minnes (66) and Sir W. Batten (64) met, to go into my Lord Bruncker's (45) coach, and so we four to Lambeth, and thence to the Duke of Albemarle (56), to inform him what we have done as to the fleete, which is very little, and to receive his direction.
But, Lord! what a sad time it is to see no boats upon the River; and grass grows all up and down White Hall court, and nobody but poor wretches in the streets! And, which is worst of all, the Duke (31) showed us the number of the plague this week, brought in the last night from the Lord Mayor; that it is encreased about 600 more than the last, which is quite contrary to all our hopes and expectations, from the coldness of the late season. For the whole general number is 8,297, and of them the plague 7,165; which is more in the whole by above 50, than the biggest Bill yet; which is very grievous to us all.
I find here a design in my Lord Bruncker (45) and Captain Cocke (48) to have had my Lord Bruncker (45) chosen as one of us to have been sent aboard one of the East Indiamen, and Captain Cocke (48) as a merchant to be joined with him, and Sir J. Minnes (66) for the other, and Sir G. Smith (50) to be joined with him. But I did order it so that my Lord Bruncker (45) and Sir J. Minnes (66) were ordered, but I did stop the merchants to be added, which would have been a most pernicious thing to the King (35) I am sure. In this I did, I think, a very good office, though I cannot acquit myself from some envy of mine in the business to have the profitable business done by another hand while I lay wholly imployed in the trouble of the office.
Thence back again by my Lord's coach to my Lord Bruncker's (45) house, where I find my Lady Batten, who is become very great with Mrs. Williams (my Lord Bruncker's (45) whore), and there we dined and were mighty merry.
After dinner I to the office there to write letters, to fit myself for a journey to-morrow to Nonsuch to the Exchequer by appointment.
That being done I to Sir J. Minnes (66) where I find Sir W. Batten (64) and his Lady gone home to Walthamstow in great snuffe as to Sir J. Minnes (66), but yet with some necessity, hearing that a mayde-servant of theirs is taken ill. Here I staid and resolved of my going in my Lord Bruncker's (45) coach which he would have me to take, though himself cannot go with me as he intended, and so to my last night's lodging to bed very weary.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 September 1665. 27 Sep 1665. Up, and saw and admired my wife's picture of our Saviour1, now finished, which is very pretty.
So by water to Greenwich, where with Creed and Lord Rutherford, and there my Lord told me that he would give me £100 for my pains, which pleased me well, though Creed, like a cunning rogue, hath got a promise of half of it from me.
We to the King's Head, the great musique house, the first time I was ever there, and had a good breakfast, and thence parted, I being much troubled to hear from Creed, that he was told at Salsbury that I am come to be a great swearer and drinker, though I know the contrary; but, Lord! to see how my late little drinking of wine is taken notice of by envious men to my disadvantage.
I thence to Captain Cocke's (48), [and] (he not yet come from town) to Mr. Evelyn's (44), where much company; and thence in his coach with him to the Duke of Albemarle (56) by Lambeth, who was in a mighty pleasant humour; there the Duke (31) tells us that the Dutch do stay abroad, and our fleet must go out again, or to be ready to do so.
Here we got several things ordered as we desired for the relief of the prisoners, and sick and wounded men.
Here I saw this week's Bill of Mortality, wherein, blessed be God! there is above 1800 decrease, being the first considerable decrease we have had.
Back again the same way and had most excellent discourse of Mr. Evelyn (44) touching all manner of learning; wherein I find him a very fine gentleman, and particularly of paynting, in which he tells me the beautifull Mrs. Middleton is rare, and his own wife do brave things. He brought me to the office, whither comes unexpectedly Captain Cocke (48), who hath brought one parcel of our goods by waggons, and at first resolved to have lodged them at our office; but then the thoughts of its being the King's house altered our resolution, and so put them at his friend's, Mr. Glanvill's (47), and there they are safe. Would the rest of them were so too! In discourse, we come to mention my profit, and he offers me £500 clear, and I demand £600 for my certain profit.
We part to-night, and I lie there at Mr. Glanvill's (47) house, there being none there but a maydeservant and a young man; being in some pain, partly from not knowing what to do in this business, having a mind to be at a certainty in my profit, and partly through his having Jacke sicke still, and his blackemore now also fallen sicke. So he being gone, I to bed.
Note 1. This picture by Mrs. Pepys may have given trouble when Pepys was unjustifiably attacked for having Popish pictures in his house.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 October 1665. 03 Oct 1665. Up, and to my great content visited betimes by Mr. Woolly, my uncle Wight's (63) cozen, who comes to see what work I have for him about these East India goods, and I do find that this fellow might have been of great use, and hereafter may be of very great use to me, in this trade of prize goods, and glad I am fully of his coming hither. While I dressed myself, and afterwards in walking to Greenwich we did discourse over all the business of the prize goods, and he puts me in hopes I may get some money in what I have done, but not so much as I expected, but that I may hereafter do more. We have laid a design of getting more, and are to talk again of it a few days hence.
To the office, where nobody to meet me, Sir W. Batten (64) being the only man and he gone this day to meet to adjourne the Parliament to Oxford.
Anon by appointment comes one to tell me my Lord Rutherford is come; so I to the King's Head to him, where I find his lady (25), a fine young Scotch lady, pretty handsome and plain. My wife also, and Mercer, by and by comes, Creed bringing them; and so presently to dinner and very merry; and after to even our accounts, and I to give him tallys, where he do allow me £100, of which to my grief the rogue Creed has trepanned me out of £50. But I do foresee a way how it may be I may get a greater sum of my Lord to his content by getting him allowance of interest upon his tallys.
That being done, and some musique and other diversions, at last away goes my Lord and Lady, and I sent my wife to visit Mrs. Pierce, and so I to my office, where wrote important letters to the Court, and at night (Creed having clownishly left my wife), I to Mrs. Pierce's and brought her and Mrs. Pierce to the King's Head and there spent a piece upon a supper for her and mighty merry and pretty discourse, she being as pretty as ever, most of our mirth being upon "my Cozen" (meaning my Lord Bruncker's (45) ugly mistress, whom he calls cozen), and to my trouble she tells me that the fine Mrs. Middleton (20) is noted for carrying about her body a continued sour base smell, that is very offensive, especially if she be a little hot. Here some bad musique to close the night and so away and all of us saw Mrs. Belle Pierce (as pretty as ever she was almost) home, and so walked to Will's lodging where I used to lie, and there made shift for a bed for Mercer, and mighty pleasantly to bed.
This night I hear that of our two watermen that use to carry our letters, and were well on Saturday last, one is dead, and the other dying sick of the plague. The plague, though decreasing elsewhere, yet being greater about the Tower and thereabouts.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 04 October 1665. 04 Oct 1665. Up and to my office, where Mr. Andrews (33) comes, and reckoning with him I get £64 of him.
By and by comes Mr. Gawden, and reckoning with him he gives me £60 in his account, which is a great mercy to me. Then both of them met and discoursed the business of the first man's resigning and the other's taking up the business of the victualling of Tangier, and I do not think that I shall be able to do as well under Mr. Gawden as under these men, or within a little as to profit and less care upon me.
Thence to the King's Head to dinner, where we three and Creed and my wife and her woman dined mighty merry and sat long talking, and so in the afternoon broke up, and I led my wife to our lodging again, and I to the office where did much business, and so to my wife.
This night comes Sir George Smith to see me at the office, and tells me how the plague is decreased this week 740, for which God be praised! but that it encreases at our end of the town still, and says how all the towne is full of Captain Cocke's (48) being in some ill condition about prize-goods, his goods being taken from him, and I know not what. But though this troubles me to have it said, and that it is likely to be a business in Parliament, yet I am not much concerned at it, because yet I believe this newes is all false, for he would have wrote to me sure about it.
Being come to my wife, at our lodging, I did go to bed, and left my wife with her people to laugh and dance and I to sleep.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 October 1665. 05 Oct 1665. Lay long in bed talking among other things of my sister Pall, and my wife of herself is very willing that I should give her £400 to her portion, and would have her married soon as we could; but this great sicknesse time do make it unfit to send for her up.
I abroad to the office and thence to the Duke of Albemarle (56), all my way reading a book of Mr. Evelyn's (44) translating and sending me as a present, about directions for gathering a Library1 but the book is above my reach, but his epistle to my Chancellor (56) is a very fine piece.
When I come to the Duke (31) it was about the victuallers' business, to put it into other hands, or more hands, which I do advise in, but I hope to do myself a jobb of work in it.
So I walked through Westminster to my old house the Swan, and there did pass some time with Sarah, and so down by water to Deptford and there to my Valentine2.
Round about and next door on every side is the plague, but I did not value it, but there did what I would 'con elle', and so away to Mr. Evelyn's (44) to discourse of our confounded business of prisoners, and sick and wounded seamen, wherein he and we are so much put out of order3. And here he showed me his gardens, which are for variety of evergreens, and hedge of holly, the finest things I ever saw in my life4.
Thence in his coach to Greenwich, and there to my office, all the way having fine discourse of trees and the nature of vegetables. And so to write letters, I very late to Sir W. Coventry (37) of great concernment, and so to my last night's lodging, but my wife is gone home to Woolwich. The Bill, blessed be God! is less this week by 740 of what it was the last week. Being come to my lodging I got something to eat, having eat little all the day, and so to bed, having this night renewed my promises of observing my vowes as I used to do; for I find that, since I left them off, my mind is run a'wool-gathering and my business neglected.
Note 1. Instructions concerning erecting of a Library, presented to my Lord the President De Mesme by Gilbert Naudeus, and now interpreted by Jo. Evelyn, Esquire. London, 1661: This little book was dedicated to Lord Clarendon by the translator. It was printed while Evelyn was abroad, and is full of typographical errors; these are corrected in a copy mentioned in Evelyn's "Miscellaneous Writings", 1825, p. xii, where a letter to Dr. GoDolphin on the subject is printed.
Note 2. A Mrs. Bagwell. See ante, February 14th, 1664-65.
Note 3. Each of the Commissioners for the Sick and Wounded was appointed to a particular district, and Evelyn's district was Kent and Sussex. On September 25th, 1665, Evelyn wrote in his Diary: "my Lord Admiral being come from ye fleete to Greenewich, I went thence with him to ye Cockpit to consult with the Duke of Albemarle (56). I was peremptory that unlesse we had £10,000 immediately, the prisoners would starve, and 'twas proposed it should be rais'd out of the E. India prizes now taken by Lord Sandwich (40). They being but two of ye Commission, and so not impower'd to determine, sent an expresse to his Majesty and Council to know what they should do".
Note 4. Evelyn (44) purchased Sayes Court, Deptford, in 1653, and laid out his gardens, walks, groves, enclosures, and plantations, which afterwards became famous for their beauty. When he took the place in hand it was nothing but an open field of one hundred acres, with scarcely a hedge in it.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 07 October 1665. 07 Oct 1665. Up and to the office along with Mr. Childe, whom I sent for to discourse about the victualling business, who will not come into partnership (no more will Captain Beckford), but I do find him a mighty understanding man, and one I will keep a knowledge of. Did business, though not much, at the office; because of the horrible crowd and lamentable moan of the poor seamen that lie starving in the streets for lack of money. Which do trouble and perplex me to the heart; and more at noon when we were to go through them, for then a whole hundred of them followed us; some cursing, some swearing, and some praying to us. And that that made me more troubled was a letter come this afternoon from the Duke of Albemarle (56), signifying the Dutch to be in sight, with 80 sayle, yesterday morning, off of Solebay, coming right into the bay. God knows what they will and may do to us, we having no force abroad able to oppose them, but to be sacrificed to them.
Here come Sir W. Rider to me, whom I sent for about the victualling business also, but he neither will not come into partnership, but desires to be of the Commission if there be one.
Thence back the back way to my office, where very late, very busy. But most of all when at night come two waggons from Rochester with more goods from Captain Cocke (48); and in houseing them at Mr. Tooker's lodgings come two of the Custome-house to seize them, and did seize them but I showed them my 'Transire'. However, after some hot and angry words, we locked them up, and sealed up the key, and did give it to the constable to keep till Monday, and so parted. But, Lord! to think how the poor constable come to me in the dark going home; "Sir", says he, "I have the key, and if you would have me do any service for you, send for me betimes to-morrow morning, and I will do what you would have me". Whether the fellow do this out of kindness or knavery, I cannot tell; but it is pretty to observe. Talking with him in the high way, come close by the bearers with a dead corpse of the plague; but, Lord! to see what custom is, that I am come almost to think nothing of it.
So to my lodging, and there, with Mr. Hater and Will, ending a business of the state of the last six months' charge of the Navy, which we bring to £1,000,000 and above, and I think we do not enlarge much in it if anything. So to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 October 1665. 12 Oct 1665. Called up before day, and so I dressed myself and down, it being horrid cold, by water to my Lord Bruncker's (45) ship, who advised me to do so, and it was civilly to show me what the King (35) had commanded about the prize-goods, to examine most severely all that had been done in the taking out any with or without order, without respect to my Lord Sandwich (40) at all, and that he had been doing of it, and find him examining one man, and I do find that extreme ill use was made of my Lord's order. For they did toss and tumble and spoil, and breake things in hold to a great losse and shame to come at the fine goods, and did take a man that knows where the fine goods were, and did this over and over again for many days, Sir W. Berkeley (26) being the chief hand that did it, but others did the like at other times, and they did say in doing it that my Lord Sandwich's (40) back was broad enough to bear it.
Having learned as much as I could, which was, that the King (35) and Duke (31) were very severe in this point, whatever order they before had given my Lord in approbation of what he had done, and that all will come out and the King (35) see, by the entries at the Custome House, what all do amount to that had been taken, and so I took leave, and by water, very cold, and to Woolwich where it was now noon, and so I staid dinner and talking part of the afternoon, and then by coach, Captain Cocke's (48), to Greenwich, taking the young lady home, and so to Cocke (48), and he tells me that he hath cajolled with Seymour (32), who will be our friend; but that, above all, Seymour (32) tells him, that my Lord Duke did shew him to-day an order from Court, for having all respect paid to the Earle of Sandwich, and what goods had been delivered by his order, which do overjoy us, and that to-morrow our goods shall be weighed, and he doubts not possession to-morrow or next day.
Being overjoyed at this I to write my letters, and at it very late. Good newes this week that there are about 600 less dead of the plague than the last. So home to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 16 October 1665. 16 Oct 1665. Up about seven o'clock; and, after drinking, and I observing Mr. Povy's (51) being mightily mortifyed in his eating and drinking, and coaches and horses, he desiring to sell his best, and every thing else, his furniture of his house, he walked with me to Syon1, and there I took water, in our way he discoursing of the wantonnesse of the Court, and how it minds nothing else, and I saying that that would leave the King (35) shortly if he did not leave it, he told me "No", for the King (35) do spend most of his time in feeling and kissing them naked... But this lechery will never leave him.
Here I took boat (leaving him there) and down to the Tower, where I hear the Duke of Albemarle (56) is, and I to Lombard Street, but can get no money. So upon the Exchange, which is very empty, God knows! and but mean people there. The newes for certain that the Dutch are come with their fleete before Margett, and some men were endeavouring to come on shore when the post come away, perhaps to steal some sheep.
But, Lord! how Colvill talks of the businesse of publique revenue like a madman, and yet I doubt all true; that nobody minds it, but that the King (35) and Kingdom must speedily be undone, and rails at my Lord about the prizes, but I think knows not my relation to him. Here I endeavoured to satisfy all I could, people about Bills of Exchange from Tangier, but it is only with good words, for money I have not, nor can get. God knows what will become of all the King's matters in a little time, for he runs in debt every day, and nothing to pay them looked after.
Thence I walked to the Tower; but, Lord! how empty the streets are and melancholy, so many poor sick people in the streets full of sores; and so many sad stories overheard as I walk, every body talking of this dead, and that man sick, and so many in this place, and so many in that. And they tell me that, in Westminster, there is never a physician and but one apothecary left, all being dead; but that there are great hopes of a great decrease this week: God send it!
At the Tower found my Lord Duke (56) and Duchesse (46) at dinner; so I sat down. And much good cheer, the Lieutenant (50) and his lady (53), and several officers with the Duke. But, Lord! to hear the silly talk that was there, would make one mad; the Duke having none almost but fools about him. Much of their talke about the Dutch coming on shore, which they believe they may some of them have been and steal sheep, and speak all in reproach of them in whose hands the fleete is; but, Lord helpe him, there is something will hinder him and all the world in going to sea, which is want of victuals; for we have not wherewith to answer our service; and how much better it would have been if the Duke's advice had been taken for the fleete to have gone presently out; but, God helpe the King (35)! while no better counsels are given, and what is given no better taken.
Thence after dinner receiving many commands from the Duke (56), I to our office on the Hill, and there did a little business and to Colvill's again, and so took water at the Tower, and there met with Captain Cocke (48), and he down with me to Greenwich, I having received letters from my Lord Sandwich (40) to-day, speaking very high about the prize goods, that he would have us to fear nobody, but be very confident in what we have done, and not to confess any fault or doubt of what he hath done; for the King (35) hath allowed it, and do now confirm it, and sent orders, as he says, for nothing to be disturbed that his Lordshipp hath ordered therein as to the division of the goods to the fleete; which do comfort us, but my Lord writes to me that both he and I may hence learn by what we see in this business. But that which pleases me best is that Cocke (48) tells me that he now understands that Fisher was set on in this business by the design of some of the Duke of Albemarle's (56) people, Warcupp and others, who lent him money to set him out in it, and he has spent high. Who now curse him for a rogue to take £100 when he might have had as well £1,500, and they are mightily fallen out about it. Which in due time shall be discovered, but that now that troubles me afresh is, after I am got to the office at Greenwich that some new troubles are come, and Captain Cocke's (48) house is beset before and behind with guards, and more, I do fear they may come to my office here to search for Cocke's (48) goods and find some small things of my clerk's. So I assisted them in helping to remove their small trade, but by and by I am told that it is only the Custome House men who came to seize the things that did lie at Mr. Glanville's (47), for which they did never yet see our Transire, nor did know of them till to-day. So that my fear is now over, for a transire is ready for them. Cocke (48) did get a great many of his goods to London to-day.
To the Still Yarde, which place, however, is now shut up of the plague; but I was there, and we now make no bones of it. Much talke there is of the Chancellor's (56) speech and the King's at the Parliament's meeting, which are very well liked; and that we shall certainly, by their speeches, fall out with France at this time, together with the Dutch, which will find us work. Late at the office entering my Journall for 8 days past, the greatness of my business hindering me of late to put it down daily, but I have done it now very true and particularly, and hereafter will, I hope, be able to fall into my old way of doing it daily.
So to my lodging, and there had a good pullet to my supper, and so to bed, it being very cold again, God be thanked for it!
Note 1. Sion House, granted by Edward VI to his uncle, the Duke of Somerset. After his execution, 1552, it was forfeited, and given to John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland. The duke being beheaded in 1553, it reverted to the Crown, and was granted in 1604 to Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. It still belongs to the Duke of Northumberland.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 31 October 1665. 31 Oct 1665. Up, and to the office, Captain Ferrers going back betimes to my Lord. I to the office, where Sir W. Batten (64) met me, and did tell me that Captain Cocke's (48) black was dead of the plague, which I had heard of before, but took no notice.
By and by Captain Cocke (48) come to the office, and Sir W. Batten (64) and I did send to him that he would either forbear the office, or forbear going to his owne office. However, meeting yesterday the Searchers with their rods in their hands coming from Captain Cocke's (48) house, I did overhear them say that the fellow did not die of the plague, but he had I know been ill a good while, and I am told that his boy Jack is also ill.
At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, leaving Mr. Hill (35) if he can to get Mrs. Coleman at night. About nine at night I come home, and there find Mrs. Pierce come and little Fran. Tooker, and Mr. Hill (35), and other people, a great many dancing, and anon comes Mrs. Coleman with her husband and Laneare. The dancing ended and to sing, which Mrs. Coleman do very finely, though her voice is decayed as to strength but mighty sweet though soft, and a pleasant jolly woman, and in mighty good humour was to-night. Among other things Laneare did, at the request of Mr. Hill (35), bring two or three the finest prints for my wife to see that ever I did see in all my life. But for singing, among other things, we got Mrs. Coleman to sing part of the Opera, though she won't owne that ever she did get any of it without book in order to the stage; but, above all, her counterfeiting of Captain Cooke's (49) part, in his reproaching his man with cowardice, "Base slave", &c., she do it most excellently. At it till past midnight, and then broke up and to bed. Hill and I together again, and being very sleepy we had little discourse as we had the other night.
Thus we end the month merrily; and the more for that, after some fears that the plague would have increased again this week, I hear for certain that there is above 400 [less], the whole number being 1,388, and of them of the plague, 1,031. Want of money in the Navy puts everything out of order. Men grow mutinous; and nobody here to mind the business of the Navy but myself. At least Sir W. Batten (64) for the few days he has been here do nothing. I in great hopes of my place of Surveyor-Generall of the Victualling, which will bring me £300 per annum.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 November 1665. 05 Nov 1665. Lord's Day. Up, and after being trimmed, by boat to the Cockpitt, where I heard the Duke of Albemarle's (56) chaplin make a simple sermon: among other things, reproaching the imperfection of humane learning, he cried: "All our physicians cannot tell what an ague is, and all our arithmetique is not able to number the days of a man"; which, God knows, is not the fault of arithmetique, but that our understandings reach not the thing.
To dinner, where a great deale of silly discourse, but the worst is I hear that the plague increases much at Lambeth, St. Martin's and Westminster, and fear it will all over the city.
Thence I to the Swan, thinking to have seen Sarah but she was at church, and so I by water to Deptford, and there made a visit to Mr. Evelyn (45), who, among other things, showed me most excellent painting in little; in distemper, Indian incke, water colours: graveing; and, above all, the whole secret of mezzo-tinto, and the manner of it, which is very pretty, and good things done with it. He read to me very much also of his discourse, he hath been many years and now is about, about Guardenage; which will be a most noble and pleasant piece. He read me part of a play or two of his making, very good, but not as he conceits them, I think, to be. He showed me his Hortus Hyemalis leaves laid up in a book of several plants kept dry, which preserve colour, however, and look very finely, better than any Herball. In fine, a most excellent person he is, and must be allowed a little for a little conceitedness; but he may well be so, being a man so much above others. He read me, though with too much gusto, some little poems of his own, that were not transcendant, yet one or two very pretty epigrams; among others, of a lady looking in at a grate, and being pecked at by an eagle that was there.
Here comes in, in the middle of our discourse Captain Cocke (48), as drunk as a dogg, but could stand, and talk and laugh. He did so joy himself in a brave woman that he had been with all the afternoon, and who should it be but my Lady Robinson (53), but very troublesome he is with his noise and talke, and laughing, though very pleasant. With him in his coach to Mr. Glanville's (47), where he sat with Mrs. Penington and myself a good while talking of this fine woman again and then went away.
Then the lady and I to very serious discourse and, among other things, of what a bonny lasse my Lady Robinson (53) is, who is reported to be kind to the prisoners, and has said to Sir G. Smith (50), who is her great crony, "Look! there is a pretty man, I would be content to break a commandment with him", and such loose expressions she will have often.
After an houre's talke we to bed, the lady mightily troubled about a pretty little bitch she hath, which is very sicke, and will eat nothing, and the worst was, I could hear her in her chamber bemoaning the bitch, and by and by taking her into bed with her. The bitch pissed and shit a bed, and she was fain to rise and had coals out of my chamber to dry the bed again. This night I had a letter that Sir G. Carteret (55) would be in towne to-morrow, which did much surprize me.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 November 1665. 08 Nov 1665. Up, and to the office, where busy among other things to looke my warrants for the settling of the Victualling business, the warrants being come to me for the Surveyors of the ports and that for me also to be Surveyor-Generall. I did discourse largely with Tom Willson about it and doubt not to make it a good service to the King (35) as well, as the King (35) gives us very good salarys.
It being a fast day, all people were at church and the office quiett; so I did much business, and at noon adventured to my old lodging, and there eat, but am not yet well satisfied, not seeing of Christopher, though they say he is abroad.
Thence after dinner to the office again, and thence am sent for to the King's Head by my Lord Rutherford, who, since I can hope for no more convenience from him, his business is troublesome to me, and therefore I did leave him as soon as I could and by water to Deptford, and there did order my matters so, walking up and down the fields till it was dark night, that 'je allais a la maison of my valentine, [Bagwell's wife] and there 'je faisais whatever je voudrais avec' [I did whatever I wanted with] her, and, about eight at night, did take water, being glad I was out of the towne; for the plague, it seems, rages there more than ever, and so to my lodgings, where my Lord had got a supper and the mistresse of the house, and her daughters, and here staid Mrs. Pierce to speake with me about her husband's business, and I made her sup with us, and then at night my Lord and I walked with her home, and so back again.
My Lord and I ended all we had to say as to his business overnight, and so I took leave, and went again to Mr. Glanville's (47) and so to bed, it being very late.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 14 November 1665. 14 Nov 1665. Called up by break of day by Captain Cocke (48), by agreement, and he and I in his coach through Kent-streete (a sad place through the plague, people sitting sicke and with plaisters about them in the street begging) to Viner's (34) and Colvill's about money business, and so to my house, and there I took £300 in order to the carrying it down to my Lord Sandwich (40) in part of the money I am to pay for Captain Cocke (48) by our agreement. So I took it down, and down I went to Greenwich to my office, and there sat busy till noon, and so home to dinner, and thence to the office again, and by and by to the Duke of Albemarle's (56) by water late, where I find he had remembered that I had appointed to come to him this day about money, which I excused not doing sooner; but I see, a dull fellow, as he is, do sometimes remember what another thinks he mindeth not. My business was about getting money of the East India Company; but, Lord! to see how the Duke himself magnifies himself in what he had done with the Company; and my Lord Craven (57) what the King (35) could have done without my Lord Duke, and a deale of stir, but most mightily what a brave fellow I am.
Back by water, it raining hard, and so to the office, and stopped my going, as I intended, to the buoy of the Nore, and great reason I had to rejoice at it, for it proved the night of as great a storme as was almost ever remembered.
Late at the office, and so home to bed. This day, calling at Mr. Rawlinson's to know how all did there, I hear that my pretty grocer's wife, Mrs. Beversham, over the way there, her husband is lately dead of the plague at Bow, which I am sorry for, for fear of losing her neighbourhood.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 15 November 1665. 15 Nov 1665. Up and all the morning at the office, busy, and at noon to the King's Head taverne, where all the Trinity House dined to-day, to choose a new Master in the room of Hurlestone, that is dead, and Captain Crispe is chosen. But, Lord! to see how Sir W. Batten (64) governs all and tramples upon Hurlestone, but I am confident the Company will grow the worse for that man's death, for now Batten (64), and in him a lazy, corrupt, doating rogue, will have all the sway there.
After dinner who comes in but my Lady Batten, and a troop of a dozen women almost, and expected, as I found afterward, to be made mighty much of, but nobody minded them; but the best jest was, that when they saw themselves not regarded, they would go away, and it was horrible foule weather; and my Lady Batten walking through the dirty lane with new spicke and span white shoes, she dropped one of her galoshes in the dirt, where it stuck, and she forced to go home without one, at which she was horribly vexed, and I led her; and after vexing her a little more in mirth, I parted, and to Glanville's (47), where I knew Sir John Robinson (50), Sir G. Smith (50), and Captain Cocke (48) were gone, and there, with the company of Mrs. Penington, whose father (81), I hear, was one of the Court of justice, and died prisoner, of the stone, in the Tower, I made them, against their resolutions, to stay from houre to houre till it was almost midnight, and a furious, darke and rainy, and windy, stormy night, and, which was best, I, with drinking small beer, made them all drunk drinking wine, at which Sir John Robinson (50) made great sport.
But, they being gone, the lady and I very civilly sat an houre by the fireside observing the folly of this Robinson (50), that makes it his worke to praise himself, and all he say and do, like a heavy-headed coxcombe. The plague, blessed be God! is decreased 400; making the whole this week but 1300 and odd; for which the Lord be praised!

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 November 1665. 22 Nov 1665. Up, and by water to the Duke of Albemarle (56), and there did some little business, but most to shew myself, and mightily I am yet in his and Lord Craven's (57) books, and thence to the Swan and there drank and so down to the bridge, and so to the 'Change, where spoke with many people, and about a great deale of business, which kept me late.
I heard this day that Mr. Harrington is not dead of the plague, as we believed, at which I was very glad, but most of all, to hear that the plague is come very low; that is, the whole under 1,000, and the plague 600 and odd: and great hopes of a further decrease, because of this day's being a very exceeding hard frost, and continues freezing.
This day the first of the Oxford Gazettes come out, which is very pretty, full of newes, and no folly in it. Wrote by Williamson (32).
Fear that our Hambro' ships at last cannot go, because of the great frost, which we believe it is there, nor are our ships cleared at the Pillow [Pillau], which will keepe them there too all this winter, I fear. From the 'Change, which is pretty full again, I to my office and there took some things, and so by water to my lodging at Greenwich and dined, and then to the office awhile and at night home to my lodgings, and took T. Willson and T. Hater with me, and there spent the evening till midnight discoursing and settling of our Victualling business, that thereby I might draw up instructions for the Surveyours and that we might be doing something to earne our money.
This done I late to bed. Among other things it pleased me to have it demonstrated, that a Purser without professed cheating is a professed loser, twice as much as he gets.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 23 November 1665. 23 Nov 1665. Went home, the contagion having now decreased considerably. See Great Plague of London.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 30 November 1665. 30 Nov 1665. Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon comes Sir Thomas Allen (32), and I made him dine with me, and very friendly he is, and a good man, I think, but one that professes he loves to get and to save. He dined with my wife and me and Mrs. Barbary, whom my wife brings along with her from Woolwich for as long as she stays here.
In the afternoon to the office, and there very late writing letters and then home, my wife and people sitting up for me, and after supper to bed. Great joy we have this week in the weekly Bill, it being come to 544 in all, and but 333 of the plague; so that we are encouraged to get to London soon as we can. And my father writes as great news of joy to them, that he saw Yorke's waggon go again this week to London, and was full of passengers; and tells me that my aunt Bell hath been dead of the plague these seven weeks.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 December 1665. 13 Dec 1665. Up betimes and finished my journall for five days back, and then after being ready to my Lord Bruncker (45) by appointment, there to order the disposing of some money that we have come into the office, and here to my great content I did get a bill of imprest to Captain Cocke (48) to pay myself in part of what is coming to me from him for my Lord Sandwich's (40) satisfaction and my owne, and also another payment or two wherein I am concerned, and having done that did go to Mr. Pierce's, where he and his wife made me drink some tea, and so he and I by water together to London. Here at a taverne in Cornhill he and I did agree upon my delivering up to him a bill of Captain Cocke's (48), put into my hand for Pierce's use upon evening of reckonings about the prize goods, and so away to the 'Change, and there hear the ill news, to my great and all our great trouble, that the plague is encreased again this week, notwithstanding there hath been a day or two great frosts; but we hope it is only the effects of the late close warm weather, and if the frosts continue the next week, may fall again; but the town do thicken so much with people, that it is much if the plague do not grow again upon us. Off the 'Change invited by Sheriff Hooker (53), who keeps the poorest, mean, dirty table in a dirty house that ever I did see any Sheriff of London; and a plain, ordinary, silly man I think he is, but rich; only his son, Mr. Lethulier (32), I like, for a pretty, civil, understanding merchant; and the more by much, because he happens to be husband to our noble, fat, brave lady in our parish, that I and my wife admire so.
Thence away to the Pope's Head Taverne, and there met first with Captain Cocke (48), and dispatched my business with him to my content, he being ready to sign his bill of imprest of £2,000, and gives it me in part of his payment to me, which glads my heart.
He being gone, comes Sir W. Warren, who advised with me about several things about getting money, and £100 I shall presently have of him. We advised about a business of insurance, wherein something may be saved to him and got to me, and to that end he and I did take a coach at night and to the Cocke (48)pitt, there to get the Duke of Albemarle's (57) advice for our insuring some of our Sounde goods coming home under Harman's (40) convoy, but he proved shy of doing it without knowledge of the Duke of Yorke (32), so we back again and calling at my house to see my wife, who is well; though my great trouble is that our poor little parish is the greatest number this weeke in all the city within the walls, having six, from one the last weeke; and so by water to Greenwich leaving Sir W. Warren at home, and I straight to my Lord Bruncker (45), it being late, and concluded upon insuring something and to send to that purpose to Sir W. Warren to come to us to-morrow morning. So I home and, my mind in great rest, to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 17 December 1665. 17 Dec 1665. Lord's Day. After being trimmed word brought me that Mr. Cutler's coach is, by appointment, come to the Isle of Doggs for me, and so I over the water; and in his coach to Hackney, a very fine, cold, clear, frosty day. At his house I find him with a plain little dinner, good wine, and welcome. He is still a prating man; and the more I know him, the less I find in him. A pretty house he hath here indeed, of his owne building. His old mother was an object at dinner that made me not like it; and, after dinner, to visit his sicke wife I did not also take much joy in, but very friendly he is to me, not for any kindnesse I think he hath to any man, but thinking me, I perceive, a man whose friendship is to be looked after.
After dinner back again and to Deptford to Mr. Evelyn's (45), who was not within, but I had appointed my cozen Thos. Pepys of Hatcham to meet me there, to discourse about getting his £1000 of my Lord Sandwich (40), having now an opportunity of my having above that sum in my hands of his. I found this a dull fellow still in all his discourse, but in this he is ready enough to embrace what I counsel him to, which is, to write importunately to my Lord and me about it and I will look after it. I do again and again declare myself a man unfit to be security for such a sum. He walked with me as far as Deptford upper towne, being mighty respectfull to me, and there parted, he telling me that this towne is still very bad of the plague.
I walked to Greenwich first, to make a short visit to my Lord Bruncker (45), and next to Mrs. Penington and spent all the evening with her with the same freedom I used to have and very pleasant company. With her till one of the clock in the morning and past, and so to my lodging to bed, and

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 December 1665. 20 Dec 1665. So I away home, and was there sat up for to be spoken with my young Mrs. Daniel, to pray me to speake for her husband to be a Lieutenant. I had the opportunity here of kissing her again and again, and did answer that I would be very willing to do him any kindnesse, and so parted, and I to bed, exceedingly pleased in all my matters of money this month or two, it having pleased God to bless me with several opportunities of good sums, and that I have them in effect all very well paid, or in my power to have. But two things trouble me; one, the sicknesse is increased above 80 this weeke (though in my owne parish not one has died, though six the last weeke); the other, most of all, which is, that I have so complexed an account for these last two months for variety of layings out upon Tangier, occasions and variety of gettings that I have not made even with myself now these 3 or 4 months, which do trouble me mightily, finding that I shall hardly ever come to understand them thoroughly again, as I used to do my accounts when I was at home.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 December 1665. 22 Dec 1665. Thence to my lodging, making up my Journall for 8 or 9 days, and so my mind being eased of it, I to supper and to bed. The weather hath been frosty these eight or nine days, and so we hope for an abatement of the plague the next weeke, or else God have mercy upon us! for the plague will certainly continue the next year if it do not.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 December 1665. 27 Dec 1665. Up, and with Cocke (48), by coach to London, there home to my wife, and angry about her desiring a mayde yet, before the plague is quite over. It seems Mercer is troubled that she hath not one under her, but I will not venture my family by increasing it before it be safe.
Thence about many businesses, particularly with Sir W. Warren on the 'Change, and he and I dined together and settled our Tangier matters, wherein I get above £200 presently. We dined together at the Pope's Head to do this, and thence to the goldsmiths, I to examine the state of my matters there too, and so with him to my house, but my wife was gone abroad to Mrs. Mercer's, so we took boat, and it being darke and the thaw having broke the ice, but not carried it quite away, the boat did pass through so much of it all along, and that with the crackling and noise that it made me fearfull indeed. So I forced the watermen to land us on Redriffe side, and so walked together till Sir W. Warren and I parted near his house and thence I walked quite over the fields home by light of linke, one of my watermen carrying it, and I reading by the light of it, it being a very fine, clear, dry night.
So to Captain Cocke's (48), and there sat and talked, especially with his Counsellor, about his prize goods, that hath done him good turne, being of the company with Captain Fisher, his name Godderson; here I supped and so home to bed, with great content that the plague is decreased to 152, the whole being but 330.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 31 December 1665. 31 Dec 1665. Lord's Day. All the morning in my chamber, writing fair the state of my Tangier accounts, and so dined at home. In the afternoon to the Duke of Albemarle (57) and thence back again by water, and so to my chamber to finish the entry of my accounts and to think of the business I am next to do, which is the stating my thoughts and putting in order my collections about the business of pursers, to see where the fault of our present constitution relating to them lies and what to propose to mend it, and upon this late and with my head full of this business to bed.
Thus ends this year, to my great joy, in this manner. I have raised my estate from £1300 in this year to £4400. I have got myself greater interest, I think, by my diligence, and my employments encreased by that of Treasurer for Tangier, and Surveyour of the Victualls. It is true we have gone through great melancholy because of the great plague, and I put to great charges by it, by keeping my family long at Woolwich, and myself and another part of my family, my clerks, at my charge at Greenwich, and a mayde at London; but I hope the King (35) will give us some satisfaction for that. !But now the plague is abated almost to nothing, and I intending to get to London as fast as I can. My family, that is my wife and maids, having been there these two or three weeks. The Dutch war goes on very ill, by reason of lack of money; having none to hope for, all being put into disorder by a new Act that is made as an experiment to bring credit to the Exchequer, for goods and money to be advanced upon the credit of that Act. I have never lived so merrily (besides that I never got so much) as I have done this plague time, by my Lord Bruncker's (45) and Captain Cocke's (48) good company, and the acquaintance of Mrs. Knipp, Coleman and her husband, and Mr. Laneare, and great store of dancings we have had at my cost (which I was willing to indulge myself and wife) at my lodgings. The great evil of this year, and the only one indeed, is the fall of my Lord of Sandwich (40), whose mistake about the prizes hath undone him, I believe, as to interest at Court; though sent (for a little palliating it) Embassador into Spayne, which he is now fitting himself for. But the Duke of Albemarle (57) goes with the Prince to sea this next year, and my Lord very meanly spoken of; and, indeed, his miscarriage about the prize goods is not to be excused, to suffer a company of rogues to go away with ten times as much as himself, and the blame of all to be deservedly laid upon him1. My whole family hath been well all this while, and all my friends I know of, saving my aunt Bell, who is dead, and some children of my cozen Sarah's, of the plague. But many of such as I know very well, dead; yet, to our great joy, the town fills apace, and shops begin to be open again. Pray God continue the plague's decrease! for that keeps the Court away from the place of business, and so all goes to rack as to publick matters, they at this distance not thinking of it.
Note 1. According to Granville Penn ("Memorials of Sir W. Penn (44)", ii. 488 n.) £2000 went to Lord Sandwich (40) and £8000 among eight others.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 31 December 1665. 31 Dec 1665. Now blessed be God for his extraordinary mercies and preservation of me this year, when thousands, and ten thousands, perished, and were swept away on each side of me, there dying in our parish this year 406 of the pestilence! See Great Plague of London.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 03 January 1666. 03 Jan 1666. Up, and all the morning till three in the afternoon examining and fitting up my Pursers' paper and sent it away by an Expresse. Then comes my wife, and I set her to get supper ready against I go to the Duke of Albemarle (57) and back again; and at the Duke's with great joy I received the good news of the decrease of the plague this week to 70, and but 253 in all; which is the least Bill hath been known these twenty years in the City. Through the want of people in London is it, that must make it so low below the ordinary number for Bills.
So home, and find all my good company I had bespoke, as Coleman and his wife, and Laneare, Knipp and her surly husband; and good musique we had, and, among other things, Mrs. Coleman sang my words I set of "Beauty retire", and I think it is a good song, and they praise it mightily. Then to dancing and supper, and mighty merry till Mr. Rolt come in, whose pain of the tooth-ake made him no company, and spoilt ours; so he away, and then my wife's teeth fell of akeing, and she to bed. So forced to break up all with a good song, and so to bed.

John Evelyn's Diary 03 January 1666. 03 Jan 1666. I supped in Nonesuch House, whither the office of the Exchequer was transferred during the plague, at my good friend.
Mr. Packer's (47), and took an exact view of the plaster statues and bass-relievos inserted between the timbers and puncheons of the outside walls of the Court; which must needs have been the work of some celebrated Italian. I much admired how they had lasted so well and entire since the time of Henry VIII., exposed as they are to the air; and pity it is they are not taken out and preserved in some dry place; a gallery would become them. There are some mezzo-relievos as big as the life; the story is of the Heathen Gods, emblems, compartments, etc. The palace consists of two courts, of which the first is of stone, castle like, by the Lord Lumleys (of whom it was purchased), the other of timber, a Gothic fabric, but these walls incomparably beautiful. I observed that the appearing timber-puncheons, entrelices, etc., were all so covered with scales of slate, that it seemed carved in the wood and painted, the slate fastened on the timber in pretty figures, that has, like a coat of armor, preserved it from rotting. There stand in the garden two handsome stone pyramids, and the avenue planted with rows of fair elms, but the rest of these goodly trees, both of this and of Worcester Park adjoining, were felled by those destructive and avaricious rebels in the late war, which defaced one of the stateliest seats his Majesty (65) had.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 January 1666. 10 Jan 1666. Up, and by coach to Sir G. Downing (41), where Mr. Gawden met me by agreement to talke upon the Act. I do find Sir G. Downing (41) to be a mighty talker, more than is true, which I now know to be so, and suspected it before, but for all that I have good grounds to think it will succeed for goods and in time for money too, but not presently. Having done with him, I to my Lord Bruncker's (46) house in Covent-Garden, and, among other things, it was to acquaint him with my paper of Pursers, and read it to him, and had his good liking of it. Shewed him Mr. Coventry's (38) sense of it, which he sent me last post much to my satisfaction.
Thence to the 'Change, and there hear to our grief how the plague is encreased this week from seventy to eighty-nine. We have also great fear of our Hambrough fleete, of their meeting the Dutch; as also have certain newes, that by storms Sir Jer. Smith's fleet is scattered, and three of them come without masts back to Plymouth, which is another very exceeding great disappointment, and if the victualling ships are miscarried will tend to the losse of the garrison of Tangier.
Thence home, in my way had the opportunity I longed for, of seeing and saluting Mrs. Stokes, my little goldsmith's wife in Paternoster Row, and there bespoke some thing, a silver chafing-dish for warming plates, and so home to dinner, found my wife busy about making her hangings for her chamber with the upholster.
So I to the office and anon to the Duke of Albemarle (57), by coach at night, taking, for saving time, Sir W. Warren with me, talking of our businesses all the way going and coming, and there got his reference of my pursers' paper to the Board to consider of it before he reads it, for he will never understand it I am sure. Here I saw Sir W. Coventry's (38) kind letter to him concerning my paper, and among others of his letters, which I saw all, and that is a strange thing, that whatever is writ to this Duke of Albemarle (57), all the world may see; for this very night he did give me Mr. Coventry's (38) letter to read, soon as it come to his hand, before he had read it himself, and bid me take out of it what concerned the Navy, and many things there was in it, which I should not have thought fit for him to have let any body so suddenly see; but, among other things, find him profess himself to the Duke a friend into the inquiring further into the business of Prizes, and advises that it may be publique, for the righting the King (35), and satisfying the people and getting the blame to be rightly laid where it should be, which strikes very hard upon my Lord Sandwich (40), and troubles me to read it. Besides, which vexes me more, I heard the damned Duchesse again say to twenty gentlemen publiquely in the room, that she would have Montagu sent once more to sea, before he goes his Embassy, that we may see whether he will make amends for his cowardice, and repeated the answer she did give the other day in my hearing to Sir G. Downing (41), wishing her Lord had been a coward, for then perhaps he might have been made an Embassador, and not been sent now to sea. But one good thing she said, she cried mightily out against the having of gentlemen Captains with feathers and ribbands, and wished the King (35) would send her husband to sea with the old plain sea Captains, that he served with formerly, that would make their ships swim with blood, though they could not make legs1 as Captains nowadays can. It grieved me to see how slightly the Duke do every thing in the world, and how the King (35) and every body suffers whatever he will to be done in the Navy, though never so much against reason, as in the business of recalling tickets, which will be done notwithstanding all the arguments against it. So back again to my office, and there to business and so to bed.
Note 1. Make bows, play the courtier. The reading, "make leagues", appeared in former editions till Mr. Mynors Bright corrected it.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 January 1666. 13 Jan 1666. At the office all the morning, where my Lord Bruncker (46) moved to have something wrote in my matter as I desired him last night, and it was ordered and will be done next sitting.
Home with his Lordship to Mrs. Williams's, in Covent-Garden, to dinner (the first time I ever was there), and there met Captain Cocke (49); and pretty merry, though not perfectly so, because of the fear that there is of a great encrease again of the plague this week. And again my Lord Bruncker (46) do tell us, that he hath it from Sir John Baber; who is related to my Lord Craven (57), that my Lord Craven (57) do look after Sir G. Carteret's (56) place, and do reckon himself sure of it.
After dinner Cocke (49) and I together by coach to the Exchange, in our way talking of our matters, and do conclude that every thing must breake in pieces, while no better counsels govern matters than there seem to do, and that it will become him and I and all men to get their reckonings even, as soon as they can, and expect all to breake. Besides, if the plague continues among us another yeare, the Lord knows what will become of us. I set him down at the 'Change, and I home to my office, where late writing letters and doing business, and thence home to supper and to bed. My head full of cares, but pleased with my wife's minding her worke so well, and busying herself about her house, and I trust in God if I can but clear myself of my Lord Sandwich's (40) bond, wherein I am bound with him for £1000 to T. Pepys, I shall do pretty well, come what will come.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 16 January 1666. 16 Jan 1666. Up, and leaving the women in bed together (a pretty black and white) I to London to the office, and there forgot, through business, to bespeake any dinner for my wife and Mrs. Pierce. However, by noon they come, and a dinner we had, and Kate Joyce comes to see us, with whom very merry.
After dinner she and I up to my chamber, who told me her business was chiefly for my advice about her husband's leaving off his trade, which though I wish enough, yet I did advise against, for he is a man will not know how to live idle, and employment he is fit for none.
Thence anon carried her and Mrs. Pierce home, and so to the Duke of Albemarle (57), and mighty kind he to me still.
So home late at my letters, and so to bed, being mightily troubled at the newes of the plague's being encreased, and was much the saddest news that the plague hath brought me from the beginning of it; because of the lateness of the year, and the fear, we may with reason have, of its continuing with us the next summer. The total being now 375, and the plague 158.

John Evelyn's Diary 06 February 1666. 06 Feb 1666. My wife (31) and family returned to me from the country, where they had been since August, by reason of the contagion, now almost universally ceasing. Blessed be God for his infinite mercy in preserving us! I, having gone through so much danger, and lost so many of my poor officers, escaping still myself that I might live to recount and magnify his goodness to me.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 February 1666. 13 Feb 1666. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the 'Change, and thence after business dined at the Sheriffe's [Hooker] (54), being carried by Mr. Lethulier (33), where to my heart's content I met with his wife (23), a most beautifull fat woman. But all the house melancholy upon the sickness of a daughter of the house in childbed, Mr. Vaughan's (62) lady. So all of them undressed, but however this lady a very fine woman. I had a salute of her, and after dinner some discourse the Sheriffe and I about a parcel of tallow I am buying for the office of him.
I away home, and there at the office all the afternoon till late at night, and then away home to supper and to bed. Ill newes this night that the plague is encreased this week, and in many places else about the towne, and at Chatham and elsewhere. This day my wife wanting a chambermaid with much ado got our old little Jane to be found out, who come to see her and hath lived all this while in one place, but is so well that we will not desire her removal, but are mighty glad to see the poor wench, who is very well and do well.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 February 1666. 22 Feb 1666. Up, and to the office, where sat all the morning.
At noon home to dinner and thence by coach with my wife for ayre principally for her. I alone stopped at Hales's (66) and there mightily am pleased with my wife's picture that is begun there, and with Mr. Hill's (36), though I must [owne] I am not more pleased with it now the face is finished than I was when I saw it the second time of sitting.
Thence to my Lord Sandwich's (40), but he not within, but goes to-morrow. My wife to Mrs. Hunt's, who is lately come to towne and grown mighty fat. I called her there, and so home and late at the office, and so home to supper and to bed. We are much troubled that the sicknesse in general (the town being so full of people) should be but three, and yet of the particular disease of the plague there should be ten encrease.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 01 March 1666. 01 Mar 1666. Up, and to the office and there all the morning sitting and at noon to dinner with my Lord Bruncker (46), Sir W. Batten (65) and Sir W. Pen (44) at the White Horse in Lombard Street, where, God forgive us! good sport with Captain Cocke's (49) having his mayde sicke of the plague a day or two ago and sent to the pest house, where she now is, but he will not say anything but that she is well.
But blessed be God! a good Bill this week we have; being but 237 in all, and 42 of the plague, and of them but six in the City: though my Lord Bruneker (46) says, that these six are most of them in new parishes where they were not the last week. Here was with us also Mr. Williamson (32), who the more I know, the more I honour.
Hence I slipt after dinner without notice home and there close to my business at my office till twelve at night, having with great comfort returned to my business by some fresh vowes in addition to my former, and-more severe, and a great joy it is to me to see myself in a good disposition to business.
So home to supper and to my Journall and to bed.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 March 1666. 13 Mar 1666. Up betimes, and to the office, where busy sitting all the morning, and I begin to find a little convenience by holding up my head to Sir W. Pen (44), for he is come to be more supple.
At noon to dinner, and then to the office again, where mighty business, doing a great deale till midnight and then home to supper and to bed. The plague encreased this week 29 from 28, though the total fallen from 238 to 207, which do never a whit please me.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 22 March 1666. 22 Mar 1666. Up, and to the office all the morning. At noon my wife being gone to her father's I dined with Sir W. Batten (65), he inviting me.
After dinner to my office close, and did very much business, and so late home to supper and to bed. The plague increased four this week, which troubles me, though but one in the whole.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 05 April 1666. 05 Apr 1666. Up, and before office time to Lombard Street, and there at Viner's (35) was shewn the silver plates, made for Captain Cocke (49) to present my Lord Bruncker (46); and I chose a dozen of the same weight to be bespoke for myself, which he told me yesterday he would give me on the same occasion.
To the office, where the falsenesse and impertinencies of Sir W. Pen (44) would make a man mad to think of.
At noon would have avoided, but could not, dining with my Lord Bruncker (46) and his mistresse with Captain Cocke (49) at the Sun Taverne in Fish Streete, where a good dinner, but the woman do tire me, and indeed how simply my Lord Bruncker (46), who is otherwise a wise man, do proceed at the table in serving of Cocke (49), without any means of understanding in his proposal, or defence when proposed, would make a man think him a foole.
After dinner home, where I find my wife hath on a sudden, upon notice of a coach going away to-morrow, taken a resolution of going in it to Brampton, we having lately thought it fit for her to go to satisfy herself and me in the nature of the fellow that is there proposed to my sister. So she to fit herself for her journey and I to the office all the afternoon till late, and so home and late putting notes to "It is decreed, nor shall thy fate, &c". and then to bed. The plague is, to our great grief, encreased nine this week, though decreased a few in the total. And this encrease runs through many parishes, which makes us much fear the next year.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 08 April 1666. 08 Apr 1666. Lord's Day. Up, and was in great trouble how to get a passage to White Hall, it raining, and no coach to be had. So I walked to the Old Swan, and there got a scull. To the Duke of Yorke (32), where we all met to hear the debate between Sir Thomas Allen (33) and Mr. Wayth; the former complaining of the latter's ill usage of him at the late pay of his ship. But a very sorry poor occasion he had for it. The Duke (32) did determine it with great judgement, chiding both, but encouraging Wayth to continue to be a check to all captains in any thing to the King's right. And, indeed, I never did see the Duke (32) do any thing more in order, nor with more judgement than he did pass the verdict in this business.
The Court full this morning of the newes of Tom Cheffin's (66) death, the King's closett-keeper. He was well last night as ever, flaying at tables in the house, and not very ill this morning at six o'clock, yet dead before seven: they think, of an imposthume in his breast. But it looks fearfully among people nowadays, the plague, as we hear, encreasing every where again.
To the Chappell, but could not get in to hear well. But I had the pleasure once in my life to see an Archbishop (70) (this was of Yorke) in a pulpit. Then at a loss how to get home to dinner, having promised to carry Mrs. Hunt thither. At last got my Lord Hinchingbroke's (18) coach, he staying at Court; and so took her up in Axe-yard, and home and dined. And good discourse of the old matters of the Protector and his family, she having a relation to them. The Protector (39)1 lives in France: spends about £500 per annum.
Thence carried her home again and then to Court and walked over to St. James's Chappell, thinking to have heard a Jesuite preach, but come too late. So got a Hackney and home, and there to business. At night had Mercer comb my head and so to supper, sing a psalm, and to bed.
Note 1. Richard Cromwell (39) subsequently returned to England, and resided in strict privacy at Cheshunt for some years before his death in 1712.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 10 April 1666. 10 Apr 1666. Up betimes, and many people to me about business. To the office and there sat till noon, and then home and dined, and to the office again all the afternoon, where we sat all, the first time of our resolution to sit both forenoons and afternoons. Much business at night and then home, and though late did see some work done by the plasterer to my new window in the boy's chamber plastered. Then to supper, and after having my head combed by the little girle to bed. Bad news that the plague is decreased in the general again and two increased in the sickness.

John Evelyn's Diary 15 April 1666. 15 Apr 1666. Our parish was now more infected with the plague than ever, and so was all the country about, though almost quite ceased at London.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 23 April 1666. 23 Apr 1666. Being mighty weary last night, lay long this morning, then up and to the office, where Sir W. Batten (65), Lord Bruncker (46) and I met, and toward noon took coach and to White Hall, where I had the opportunity to take leave of the Prince (46), and again of the Duke of Albemarle (57); and saw them kiss the King's (35) hands and the Duke's (32); and much content, indeed, there seems to be in all people at their going to sea, and [they] promise themselves much good from them. This morning the House of Parliament do meet, only to adjourne again till winter. The plague, I hear, encreases in the towne much, and exceedingly in the country everywhere.
Thence walked to Westminster Hall, and after a little stay, there being nothing now left to keep me there, Betty Howlettt being gone, I took coach and away home, in my way asking in two or three places the worth of pearles, I being now come to the time that I have long ago promised my wife a necklace.
Dined at home and took Balty (26) with me to Hales's (66) to show him his sister's picture, and thence to Westminster, and there I to the Swan and drank, and so back again alone to Hales's (66) and there met my wife and Mercer, Mrs. Pierce being sitting, and two or three idle people of her acquaintance more standing by. Her picture do come on well. So staid until she had done and then set her down at home, and my wife and I and the girle by coach to Islington, and there eat and drank in the coach and so home, and there find a girle sent at my desire by Mrs. Michell of Westminster Hall, to be my girle under the cooke-mayde, Susan. But I am a little dissatisfied that the girle, though young, is taller and bigger than Su, and will not, I fear, be under her command, which will trouble me, and the more because she is recommended by a friend that I would not have any unkindness with, but my wife do like very well of her.
So to my accounts and journall at my chamber, there being bonfires in the streete, for being St. George's day, and the King's Coronation, and the day of the Prince and Duke's going to sea. So having done my business, to bed.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 25 April 1666. 25 Apr 1666. Up, and to White Hall to the Duke (32) as usual, and did our business there. So I away to Westminster (Balty (26) with me, whom I had presented to Sir W. Coventry (38)) and there told Mrs. Michell of her kinswoman's running away, which troubled her.
So home, and there find another little girle come from my wife's mother, likely to do well.
After dinner I to the office, where Mr. Prin (66) come to meet about the Chest business; and till company come, did discourse with me a good while alone in the garden about the laws of England, telling me the many faults in them; and among others, their obscurity through multitude of long statutes, which he is about to abstract out of all of a sort; and as he lives, and Parliaments come, get them put into laws, and the other statutes repealed, and then it will be a short work to know the law, which appears a very noble good thing.
By and by Sir W. Batten (65) and Sir W. Rider met with us, and we did something to purpose about the Chest, and hope we shall go on to do so. They up, I to present Balty (26) to Sir W. Pen (45), who at my entreaty did write a most obliging letter to Harman (41) to use him civilly, but the dissembling of the rogue is such, that it do not oblige me at all.
So abroad to my ruler's of my books, having, God forgive me! a mind to see Nan there, which I did, and so back again, and then out again to see Mrs. Bettons, who were looking out of the window as I come through Fenchurch Streete. So that indeed I am not, as I ought to be, able to command myself in the pleasures of my eye.
So home, and with my wife and Mercer spent our evening upon our new leads by our bedchamber singing, while Mrs. Mary Batelier looked out of the window to us, and we talked together, and at last bid good night. However, my wife and I staid there talking of several things with great pleasure till eleven o'clock at night, and it is a convenience I would not want for any thing in the world, it being, methinks, better than almost any roome in my house. So having, supped upon the leads, to bed. The plague, blessed be God! is decreased sixteen this week.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 12 May 1666. 12 May 1666. Up to the office very betimes to draw up a letter for the Duke of Yorke (32) relating to him the badness of our condition in this office for want of money. That being in good time done we met at the office and there sat all the morning.
At noon home, where I find my wife troubled still at my checking her last night in the coach in her long stories out of Grand Cyrus, which she would tell, though nothing to the purpose, nor in any good manner1. This she took unkindly, and I think I was to blame indeed; but she do find with reason, that in the company of Pierce, Knipp, or other women that I love, I do not value her, or mind her as I ought. However very good friends by and by, and to dinner, and after dinner up to the putting our dining room in order, which will be clean again anon, but not as it is to be because of the pictures which are not come home.
To the office and did much business, in the evening to Westminster and White Hall about business and among other things met Sir G. Downing (41) on White Hall bridge, and there walked half an hour, talking of the success of the late new Act; and indeed it is very much, that that hath stood really in the room of £800,000 now since Christmas, being itself but £1,250,000. And so I do really take it to be a very considerable thing done by him; for the beginning, end, and every part of it, is to be imputed to him.
So home by water, and there hard till 12 at night at work finishing the great letter to the Duke of Yorke (32) against to-morrow morning, and so home to bed. This day come home again my little girle Susan, her sicknesse proving an ague, and she had a fit soon almost as she come home. The fleete is not yet gone from the Nore. The plague encreases in many places, and is 53 this week with us.
Note 1. Sir Walter Scott observes, in his "Life of Dryden (34)", that the romances of Calprenede and Scuderi, those ponderous and unmerciful folios, now consigned to oblivion, were, in their day, not only universally read and admired, but supposed to furnish the most perfect models of gallantry and heroism. Dr. Johnson read them all. "I have", says Mrs. Chapone, "and yet I am still alive, dragged through 'Le Grand Cyrus,' in twelve huge volumes; 'Cleopatra,' in eight or ten; 'Ibrahim,' 'Clelie,' and some others, whose names, as well as all the rest of them, I have forgotten" ("Letters to Mrs. Carter"). No wonder that Pepys sat on thorns, when his wife began to recite "Le Grand Cyrus" in the coach, "and trembled at the impending tale". B.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 22 July 1666. 22 Jul 1666. Our parish still infected with the contagion.

John Evelyn's Diary 29 July 1666. 29 Jul 1666. The pestilence now fresh increasing in our parish, I forbore going to church. In the afternoon came tidings of our victory over the Dutch, sinking some, and driving others aground, and into their ports.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 06 August 1666. 06 Aug 1666. Up, and to the office a while, and then by water to my Baroness Montagu's (41), at Westminster, and there visited my Lord Hinchingbroke (18), newly come from Hinchingbroke, and find him a mighty sober gentleman, to my great content.
Thence to Sir Ph. Warwicke (56) and my Lord Treasurer's (59), but failed in my business; so home and in Fenchurch-streete met with Mr. Battersby; says he, "Do you see Dan Rawlinson's door shut up?" (which I did, and wondered). "Why", says he, "after all the sickness, and himself spending all the last year in the country, one of his men is now dead of the plague, and his wife and one of his mayds sicke, and himself shut up"; which troubles me mightily.
So home; and there do hear also from Mrs. Sarah Daniel, that Greenwich is at this time much worse than ever it was, and Deptford too: and she told us that they believed all the towne would leave the towne and come to London; which is now the receptacle of all the people from all infected places. God preserve us!
So by and by to dinner, and, after dinner in comes Mrs. Knipp, and I being at the office went home to her, and there I sat and talked with her, it being the first time of her being here since her being brought to bed. I very pleasant with her; but perceive my wife hath no great pleasure in her being here, she not being pleased with my kindnesse to her. However, we talked and sang, and were very pleasant.
By and by comes Mr. Pierce and his wife, the first time she also hath been here since her lying-in, both having been brought to bed of boys, and both of them dead. And here we talked, and were pleasant, only my wife in a chagrin humour, she not being pleased with my kindnesse to either of them, and by and by she fell into some silly discourse wherein I checked her, which made her mighty pettish, and discoursed mighty offensively to Mrs. Pierce, which did displease me, but I would make no words, but put the discourse by as much as I could (it being about a report that my wife said was made of herself and meant by Mrs. Pierce, that she was grown a gallant, when she had but so few suits of clothes these two or three years, and a great deale of that silly discourse), and by and by Mrs. Pierce did tell her that such discourses should not trouble her, for there went as bad on other people, and particularly of herself at this end of the towne, meaning my wife, that she was crooked, which was quite false, which my wife had the wit not to acknowledge herself to be the speaker of, though she has said it twenty times. But by this means we had little pleasure in their visit; however, Knipp and I sang, and then I offered them to carry them home, and to take my wife with me, but she would not go: so I with them, leaving my wife in a very ill humour, and very slighting to them, which vexed me. However, I would not be removed from my civility to them, but sent for a coach, and went with them; and, in our way, Knipp saying that she come out of doors without a dinner to us, I took them to Old Fish Streete, to the very house and woman where I kept my wedding dinner, where I never was since, and there I did give them a joie of salmon, and what else was to be had. And here we talked of the ill-humour of my wife, which I did excuse as much as I could, and they seemed to admit of it, but did both confess they wondered at it; but from thence to other discourse, and among others to that of my Lord Bruncker (46) and Mrs. Williams, who it seems do speake mighty hardly of me for my not treating them, and not giving her something to her closett, and do speake worse of my wife, and dishonourably, but it is what she do of all the world, though she be a whore herself; so I value it not. But they told me how poorly my Lord carried himself the other day to his kinswoman, Mrs. Howard, and was displeased because she called him uncle to a little gentlewoman that is there with him, which he will not admit of; for no relation is to be challenged from others to a lord, and did treat her thereupon very rudely and ungenteely.
Knipp tells me also that my Lord keeps another woman besides Mrs. Williams; and that, when I was there the other day, there was a great hubbub in the house, Mrs. Williams being fallen sicke, because my Lord was gone to his other mistresse, making her wait for him, till his return from the other mistresse; and a great deale of do there was about it; and Mrs. Williams swounded at it, at the very time when I was there and wondered at the reason of my being received so negligently. I set them both at home, Knipp at her house, her husband being at the doore; and glad she was to be found to have staid out so long with me and Mrs. Pierce, and none else; and Mrs. Pierce at her house, and am mightily pleased with the discretion of her during the simplicity and offensiveness of my wife's discourse this afternoon. I perceive by the new face at Mrs. Pierce's door that our Mary is gone from her.
So I home, calling on W. Joyce in my coach, and staid and talked a little with him, who is the same silly prating fellow that ever he was, and so home, and there find my wife mightily out of order, and reproaching of Mrs. Pierce and Knipp as wenches, and I know not what. But I did give her no words to offend her, and quietly let all pass, and so to bed without any good looke or words to or from my wife.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 09 August 1666. 09 Aug 1666. Up and to the office to prepare business for the Board, Reeves being gone and I having lent him upon one of the glasses. Here we sat, but to little purpose, nobody coming at us but to ask for money, not to offer us any goods.
At noon home to dinner, and then to the office again, being mightily pleased with a Virgin's head that my wife is now doing of.
In the evening to Lumbard-streete about money, to enable me to pay Sir G. Carteret's (56) £3000, which he hath lodged in my hands, in behalf of his son and my Lady Jemimah, toward their portion, which, I thank God, I am able to do at a minute's warning. In my [way] I inquired, and find Mrs. Rawlinson is dead of the sickness, and her mayde continues mighty ill. He himself is got out of the house. I met also with Mr. Evelyn (45) in the streete, who tells me the sad condition at this very day at Deptford for the plague, and more at Deale (within his precinct as one of the Commissioners for sick and wounded seamen), that the towne is almost quite depopulated.
Thence back home again, and after some business at my office, late, home to supper and to bed, I being sleepy by my late want of rest, notwithstanding my endeavouring to get a nap of an hour this afternoon after dinner.
So home and to bed.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 26 August 1666. 26 Aug 1666. The contagion still continuing, we had the Church service at home.

John Evelyn's Diary 07 September 1666. 07 Sep 1666. I went this morning on foot from Whitehall as far as London Bridge, through the late Fleet Street, Ludgate hill by St. Paul's, Cheapside, Exchange, Bishops-gate, Aldersgate Ward, and out to Moorfields, thence through Cornhill, etc., with extraordinary difficulty, clambering over heaps of yet smoking rubbish, and frequently mistaking where I was; the ground under my feet so hot, that it even burnt the soles of my shoes. In the meantime, his Majesty (36) got to the Tower by water, to demolish the houses about the graff, which, being built entirely about it, had they taken fire and attacked the White Tower, where the magazine of powder lay, would undoubtedly not only have beaten down and destroyed all the bridge, but sunk and torn the vessels in the river, and rendered the demolition beyond all expression for several miles about the country.
At my return, I was infinitely concerned to find that goodly Church, St. Paul's — now a sad ruin, and that beautiful portico (for structure comparable to any in Europe, as not long before repaired by the late King (65)) now rent in pieces, flakes of large stones split asunder, and nothing remaining entire but the inscription in the architrave showing by whom it was built, which had not one letter of it defaced! It was astonishing to see what immense stones the heat had in a manner calcined, so that all the ornaments, columns, friezes, capitals, and projectures of massy Portland stone, flew off, even to the very roof, where a sheet of lead covering a great space (no less than six acres by measure) was totally melted. The ruins of the vaulted roof falling, broke into St. Faith's, which being filled with the magazines of books belonging to the Stationers, and carried thither for safety, they were all consumed, burning for a week following. It is also observable that the lead over the altar at the east end was untouched, and among the divers. Monuments the body of one bishop remained entire. Thus lay in ashes that most venerable church, one of the most ancient pieces of early piety in the Christian world, besides near one hundred more. The lead, ironwork, bells, plate, etc., melted, the exquisitely wrought Mercers' Chapel, the sumptuous Exchange, the august fabric of Christ Church, all the rest of the Companies' Halls, splendid buildings, arches, entries, all in dust; the fountains dried up and ruined, while the very waters remained boiling; the voragos of subterranean cellars, wells, and dungeons, formerly warehouses, still burning in stench and dark clouds of smoke; so that in five or six miles traversing about I did not see one load of timber unconsumed, nor many stones but what were calcined white as snow.
The people, who now walked about the ruins, appeared like men in some dismal desert, or rather, in some great city laid waste by a cruel enemy; to which was added the stench that came from some poor creatures' bodies, beds, and other combustible goods. Sir Thomas Gresham's statue, though fallen from its niche in the Royal Exchange, remained entire, when all those of the Kings since the Conquest were broken to pieces. Also the standard in Cornhill, and Queen Elizabeth's effigies, with some arms on Ludgate, continued with but little detriment, while the vast iron chains of the city streets, hinges, bars, and gates of prisons, were many of them melted and reduced to cinders by the vehement heat. Nor was I yet able to pass through any of the narrow streets, but kept the widest; the ground and air, smoke and fiery vapor, continued so intense, that my hair was almost singed, and my feet insufferably surbated. The by-lanes and narrow streets were quite filled up with rubbish; nor could one have possibly known where he was, but by the ruins of some Church, or Hall, that had some remarkable tower, or pinnacle remaining.
I then went towards Islington and Highgate, where one might have seen 200,000 people of all ranks and degrees dispersed, and lying along by their heaps of what they could save from the fire, deploring their loss; and, though ready to perish for hunger and destitution, yet not asking one penny for relief, which to me appeared a stranger sight than any I had yet beheld. His Majesty (36) and Council indeed took all imaginable care for their relief, by proclamation for the country to come in, and refresh them with provisions.
In the midst of all this calamity and confusion, there was, I know not how, an alarm begun that the French and Dutch, with whom we were now in hostility, were not only landed, but even entering the city. There was, in truth, some days before, great suspicion of those two nations joining; and now that they had been the occasion of firing the town. This report did so terrify, that on a sudden there was such an uproar and tumult that they ran from their goods, and, taking what weapons they could come at, they could not be stopped from falling on some of those nations whom they casually met, without sense or reason. The clamor and peril grew so excessive, that it made the whole Court amazed, and they did with infinite pains and great difficulty, reduce and appease the people, sending troops of soldiers and guards, to cause them to retire into the fields again, where they were watched all this night. I left them pretty quiet, and came home sufficiently weary and broken. Their spirits thus a little calmed, and the affright abated, they now began to repair into the suburbs about the city, where such as had friends, or opportunity, got shelter for the present to which his Majesty's (36) proclamation also invited them.
Still, the plague continuing in our parish, I could not, without danger, adventure to our church.

Read More ...

Diary of Samuel Pepys 13 September 1666. 13 Sep 1666. Up, and down to Tower Wharfe; and there, with Batty and labourers from Deptford, did get my goods housed well at home. So down to Deptford again to fetch the rest, and there eat a bit of dinner at the Globe, with the master of the Bezan with me, while the labourers went to dinner. Here I hear that this poor towne do bury still of the plague seven or eight in a day.
So to Sir G. Carteret's (56) to work, and there did to my content ship off into the Bezan all the rest of my goods, saving my pictures and fine things, that I will bring home in wherrys when the house is fit to receive them: and so home, and unload them by carts and hands before night, to my exceeding satisfaction: and so after supper to bed in my house, the first time I have lain there; and lay with my wife in my old closett upon the ground, and Batty and his wife in the best chamber, upon the ground also.

Great Fire of London

John Evelyn's Diary 10 October 1666. 10 Oct 1666. This day was ordered a general Fast through the Nation, to humble us on the late dreadful conflagration, added to the plague and war, the most dismal judgments that could be inflicted; but which indeed we highly deserved for our prodigious ingratitude, burning lusts, dissolute court, profane and abominable lives, under such dispensations of God's continued favor in restoring Church, Prince, and People from our late intestine calamities, of which we were altogether unmindful, even to astonishment. This made me resolve to go to our parish assembly, where our Doctor preached on Luke xix. 41: piously applying it to the occasion. After which, was a collection for the distressed losers in the late fire.

Great Plague of London

John Evelyn's Diary 28 October 1666. 28 Oct 1666. The pestilence, through God's mercy, began now to abate considerably in our town.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 20 November 1666. 20 Nov 1666. Called up by Mr. Sheply, who is going into the country to-day to Hinchingbroke, I sent my service to my Lady, and in general for newes: that the world do think well of my Lord, and do wish he were here again, but that the publique matters of the State as to the war are in the worst condition that is possible.
By and by Sir W. Warren, and with him half an hour discoursing of several businesses, and some I hope will bring me a little profit.
He gone, and Sheply, I to the office a little, and then to church, it being thanksgiving-day for the cessation of the plague; but, Lord! how the towne do say that it is hastened before the plague is quite over, there dying some people still1, but only to get ground for plays to be publickly acted, which the Bishops would not suffer till the plague was over; and one would thinke so, by the suddenness of the notice given of the day, which was last Sunday, and the little ceremony. The sermon being dull of Mr. Minnes, and people with great indifferency come to hear him.
After church home, where I met Mr. Gregory, who I did then agree with to come to teach my wife to play on the Viall, and he being an able and sober man, I am mightily glad of it. He had dined, therefore went away, and I to dinner, and after dinner by coach to Barkeshire-house, and there did get a very great meeting; the Duke of York (33) being there, and much business done, though not in proportion to the greatness of the business, and my Chancellor (57) sleeping and snoring the greater part of the time. Among other things I declared the state of our credit as to tallys to raise money by, and there was an order for payment of £5000 to Mr. Gawden, out of which I hope to get something against Christmas.
Here we sat late, and here I did hear that there are some troubles like to be in Scotland, there being a discontented party already risen, that have seized on the Governor of Dumfreeze and imprisoned him2, but the story is yet very uncertain, and therefore I set no great weight on it. I home by Mr. Gawden in his coach, and so with great pleasure to spend the evening at home upon my Lyra Viall, and then to supper and to bed. With mighty peace of mind and a hearty desire that I had but what I have quietly in the country, but, I fear, I do at this day see the best that either I or the rest of our nation will ever see.
Note 1. According to the Bills of Mortality seven persons died in London of the plague during the week November 20th to 27th; and for some weeks after deaths continued from this cause.
Note 2. William Fielding, writing to Sir Phil. Musgrave from Carlisle on November 15th, says: "Major Baxter, who has arrived from Dumfries, reports that this morning a great number of horse and foot came into that town, with drawn swords and pistols, gallopped up to Sir Jas. Turner's lodgings, seized him in his bed, carried him without clothes to the marketplace, threatened to cut him to pieces, and seized and put into the Tollbooth all the foot soldiers that were with him; they also secured the minister of Dumfries. Many of the party were lairds and county people from Galloway—200 horse well mounted, one minister was with them who had swords and pistols, and 200 or 300 foot, some with clubs, others with scythes". On November 17th Rob. Meine wrote to Williamson: "On the 15th 120 fanatics from the Glenkins, Deray; and neighbouring parishes in Dumfriesshire, none worth £10 except two mad fellows, the lairds of Barscob and Corsuck, came to Dumfries early in the morning, seized Sir Jas. Turner, commander of a company of men in Dumfriesshire, and carried him, without violence to others, to a strong house in Maxwell town, Galloway, declaring they sought only revenge against the tyrant who had been severe with them for not keeping to church, and had laid their families waste" (Calendar of State Papers, 1666-67, pp. 262, 268).

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 16 September 1683. 16 Sep 1683. At the elegant villa and garden of Mr. Bohun, at Lee. He showed me the zinnar tree, or platanus, and told me that since they had planted this kind of tree about the city of Ispahan, in Persia, the plague, which formerly much infested the place, had exceedingly abated of its mortal effects, and rendered it very healthy.

Hall's Chronicle Henry VII 7th Year Aug 1491. In this warre and tumulteous busynes in Italy, whiche was y most terrible and sorest plague, that any man can remembre of that nacion, there was no person, no place, no private house, no noble familye, no capitayne or prince, but he was oppressed either with the heapes of the dead carcasses, or with the bloud of his frendes or subiectes, or els su tired some affliccion Iniurie or detryment. And insome wise at one tyme or another, euery maa did tast and suffre all the mischeues that apperteyned to the victory gotten by their enernyes. The which defacing & blottyng of the beutye of that countrey, sometyme called the quene of y earth, and floure of the worlde, chaunced not of her awneselfe of herawne cause or desert, but the Italians herawne suckyng chyldren opened the gappe, and made the waye of her destruccion. For at that tyme thus it chaunced, that when the potetates and seignories of Italy perceaued, that all thinge vnder them succeded, euen as they woulde desire and wishe, to their great exultacion and reioysinge: by reason whereof they sate still at home lyke sloggardes (as women be accustomed to do) skoldyng and brawlyng, exercisyng and practisyng preuy displeasure and malice, not agayn their enemyes as they were accustomed, but cmong them selfes one against another, caslinge out of memory drownynge their auncient renoune, glory and honoure with desyre of rule and appetite to be reuenged, and so destroyed the common weale, and subuerted the olde monurnentes and actes of their forfathers and predecessors. And because some of them, thinkynge them selfes, not of force and puissauce sufficient inough to bring their purpose to effect, and to reuenge their quarell, they entysed, stirred and procured with giftes, rewardes and promyses, straungers and foreyne nacions to their aide and assistence. The other seyngc them so desirous to haue their helpe, partely moued with their giftes, partely with desyre of rule, spoyles prayes, gathered together a great company and entred into Italy, and there distroyed, spoyled and possessed the better parte of it. And so the Italians, as men out of their wit, where as they thought one to noye & hurte another with hatefull warryng, they destroyed their natyue coutrey, beynge of nature enclosed and munyte with hygh hilles and the mayne sea rounde> aboute, and opened the waye to straungiers to their vttre ignominy and finall destruccion, which thei might haue kept out of all daungier, if they had bene their awne fredes, and loued their awne wealth and commodite. Therefore I mayesaye: O progeny, aswell wicked as vngodly, hath discorde and dissencion pleased the so much that thou wouldest vtterly extinguihhe and confoude the glory and honour of thy natiue countrey? And in conclusion, thou thyself art come to the depest pyt of wretchednes, because that thou perceauing the ruyne that thou hast caused and procured, thou arte more repentaunte for the begynninge of it, then glad to desist and Icaue it, and so accordynge to thy desert thou hast thy penaunce and guardon. The grand capitayne and beginner of thys mischief was Sforcia, whiche at that tyme ruled at his will the duchy of Millayne vndre duke Ihon Galeas his nephew: but for a truthe this Lewes ruled al, and the duke did nothing. Wherfore Alphons duke of Calabre, and after kyng of Napels, grudgynge that this duke Ihon his sonne in la\ve, should be defrauded of his superiorite and dominio, threatened sore this Lewes Sforcia. Where hefearyng to be put from his authoritee, solicited and by great entreatie procured Charles the French kyng to inuade the reahne of Napels. By reason of whiche procurement, Alphonse duke of Calabre, whiche succeded his father Ferdinand in the kingdome of Napels (which also as you haue heard, was made knight of the garter) was first depryued of his kingdome by thesaiue kynge Charles, and shortely after of his lyfe. But Lewes force had no longe ioye after the deathe of hys enemy, for he was betrayed and taken by the Swytzers whiche warred vnder kynge Lewes the twelfth, then beynge Frenche kynge, and caryed into Fraunce, where he in the Castell of Lothes miserably finished hys lyfe, accordynge to the saiynge of the Gospell, woo be too hym by whom aslaundre begynneth. Thys mischiefe beganne at that tyme when Charles came thether, and contynueth yet, which is the yere of oure Lord. M.D.xliii. for an example to other, y straungers inuited to a prosperous countrey be lothe to departe from the swete sauoure once therof tasted.

Read More ...

John Evelyn's Diary 23 March 1646. Passing through the same pleasant valley between the horrid mountains on either hand, like a gallery many miles in length, we got to Martigni, where also we were well entertained. The houses in this country are all built of fir boards, planed within, low, and seldom above one story. The people very clownish and rusticly clad, after a very odd fashion, for the most part in blue cloth, very whole and warm, with little variety of distinction between the gentleman and common sort, by a law of their country being exceedingly frugal. Add to this their great honesty and fidelity, though exacting enough for what they part with: I saw not one beggar. We paid the value of twenty shillings English, for a day's hire of one horse. Every man goes with a sword by his side, the whole country well disciplined, and indeed impregnable, which made the Romans have such ill success against them; one lusty Swiss at their narrow passages is sufficient to repel a legion. It is a frequent thing here for a young tradesman, or farmer, to leave his wife and children for twelve or fifteen years, and seek his fortune in the wars in Spain, France, Italy, or Germany, and then return again to work. I look upon this country to be the safest spot of all Europe, neither envied nor envying; nor are any of them rich, nor poor; they live in great simplicity and tranquillity; and, though of the fourteen Cantons half be Roman Catholics, the rest reformed, yet they mutually agree, and are confederate with Geneva, and are its only security against its potent neighbors, as they themselves are from being attacked by the greater potentates, by the mutual jealousy of their neighbors, as either of them would be overbalanced, should the Swiss, who are wholly mercenary and auxiliaries, be subjected to France or Spain.
We were now arrived at St. Maurice, a large handsome town and residence of the President, where justice is done. To him we presented our letter from Sion, and made known the ill usage we had received for killing a wretched goat, which so incensed him, that he swore if we would stay he would not only help us to recover our money again, but most severely punish the whole rabble; but our desire of revenge had by this time subsided, and glad we were to be gotten so near France, which we reckoned as good as home. He courteously invited us to dine with him; but we excused ourselves, and, returning to our inn, while we were eating something before we took horse, the Governor had caused two pages to bring us a present of two great vessels of covered plate full of excellent wine, in which we drank his health, and rewarded the youths; they were two vast bowls supported by two Swiss, handsomely wrought after the German manner. This civility and that of our host at Sion, perfectly reconciled us to the highlanders; and so, proceeding on our journey we passed this afternoon through the gate which divides the Valais from the Duchy of Savoy, into which we were now entering, and so, through Montei, we arrived that evening at Beveretta. Being extremely weary and complaining of my head, and finding little accommodation in the house, I caused one of our hostess's daughters to be removed out of her bed and went immediately into it while it was yet warm, being so heavy with pain and drowsiness that I would not stay to have the sheets changed; but I shortly after paid dearly for my impatience, falling sick of the smallpox as soon as I came to Geneva, for by the smell of frankincense and the tale the good woman told me of her daughter having had an ague, I afterward concluded she had been newly recovered of the smallpox. Notwithstanding this, I went with my company, the next day, hiring a bark to carry us over the lake; and indeed, sick as I was, the weather was so serene and bright, the water so calm, and air so temperate, that never had travelers a sweeter passage. Thus, we sailed the whole length of the lake, about thirty miles, the countries bordering on it (Savoy and Berne) affording one of the most delightful prospects in the world, the Alps covered with snow, though at a great distance, yet showing their aspiring tops. Through this lake, the river Rhodanus passes with that velocity as not to mingle with its exceeding deep waters, which are very clear, and breed the most celebrated trout for largeness and goodness of any in Europe. I have ordinarily seen one of three feet in length sold in the market for a small price, and such we had in the lodging where we abode, which was at the White Cross. All this while, I held up tolerably; and the next morning having a letter for Signor John Diodati, the famous Italian minister and translator of the Holy Bible into that language, I went to his house, and had a great deal of discourse with that learned person. He told me he had been in England, driven by tempest into Deal, while sailing for Holland, that he had seen London, and was exceedingly taken with the civilities he received. He so much approved of our Church-government by Bishops, that he told me the French Protestants would make no scruple to submit to it and all its pomp, had they a king of the Reformed religion as we had. He exceedingly deplored the difference now between his Majesty and the Parliament. After dinner, came one Monsieur Saladine, with his little pupil, the Earl of Caernarvon, to visit us, offering to carry us to the principal places of the town; but, being now no more able to hold up my head, I was constrained to keep my chamber, imagining that my very eyes would have dropped out; and this night I felt such a stinging about me, that I could not sleep. In the morning, I was very ill, but sending for a doctor, he persuaded me to be bled. He was a very learned old man, and, as he said, he had been physician to Gustavus the Great, King of Sweden, when he passed this way into Italy, under the name of Monsieur Gars, the initial letters of Gustavus Adolphus Rex Sueciæ, and of our famous Duke of Buckingham, on his returning out of Italy. He afterward acknowledged that he should not have bled me, had he suspected the smallpox, which broke out a day after. He afterward purged me, and applied leeches, and God knows what this would have produced, if the spots had not appeared, for he was thinking of bleeding me again. They now kept me warm in bed for sixteen days, tended by a vigilant Swiss matron, whose monstrous throat, when I sometimes awakened out of unquiet slumbers, would affright me. After the pimples were come forth, which were not many, I had much ease as to pain, but infinitely afflicted with heat and noisomeness. By God's mercy, after five weeks' keeping my chamber, I went abroad. Monsieur Saladine and his lady sent me many refreshments. Monsieur Le Chat, my physician, to excuse his letting me bleed, told me it was so burnt and vicious as it would have proved the plague, or spotted fever, had he proceeded by any other method. On my recovering sufficiently to go abroad, I dined at Monsieur Saladine's, and in the afternoon went across the water on the side of the lake, and took a lodging that stood exceedingly pleasant, about half a mile from the city for the better airing; but I stayed only one night, having no company there, save my pipe; so, the next day, I caused them to row me about the lake as far as the great stone, which they call Neptune's Rock, on which they say sacrifice was anciently offered to him. Thence, I landed at certain cherry gardens and pretty villas by the side of the lake, and exceedingly pleasant. Returning, I visited their conservatories of fish; in which were trouts of six and seven feet long, AS THEY AFFIRMED.

Read More ...

Great Plague of London

Diary of Samuel Pepys 26 November 1663. The plague, it seems, grows more and more at Amsterdam; and we are going upon making of all ships coming from thence and Hambrough, or any other infected places, to perform their Quarantine (for thirty days as Sir Rd. Browne expressed it in the order of the Council, contrary to the import of the word, though in the general acceptation it signifies now the thing, not the time spent in doing it) in Holehaven, a thing never done by us before.

Diary of Samuel Pepys 27 July 1665. When I come to Hampton Court I find Sir T. Ingram and Creed ready with papers signed for the putting of Mr. Gawden in, upon a resignation signed to by Lanyon and sent to Sir Thos. Ingram. At this I was surprized but yet was glad, and so it passed but with respect enough to those that are in, at least without any thing ill taken from it. I got another order signed about the boats, which I think I shall get something by.
So dispatched all my business, having assurance of continuance of all hearty love from Sir W. Coventry, and so we staid and saw the King and Queene set out toward Salisbury, and after them the Duke and Duchesse, whose hands I did kiss. And it was the first time I did ever, or did see any body else, kiss her hand, and it was a most fine white and fat hand. But it was pretty to see the young pretty ladies dressed like men, in velvet coats, caps with ribbands, and with laced bands, just like men. Only the Duchesse herself it did not become.
They gone, we with great content took coach again, and hungry come to Clapham about one o'clock, and Creed there too before us, where a good dinner, the house having dined, and so to walk up and down in the gardens, mighty pleasant.
By and by comes by promise to me Sir G. Carteret, and viewed the house above and below, and sat and drank there, and I had a little opportunity to kiss and spend some time with the ladies above, his daughter, a buxom lass, and his sister Fissant, a serious lady, and a little daughter of hers, that begins to sing prettily.
Thence, with mighty pleasure, with Sir G. Carteret by coach, with great discourse of kindnesse with him to my Lord Sandwich, and to me also; and I every day see more good by the alliance.
Almost at Deptford I 'light and walked over to Half-way House, and so home, in my way being shown my cozen Patience's house, which seems, at distance, a pretty house.
At home met the weekly Bill, where above 1000 encreased in the Bill, and of them, in all about 1,700 of the plague, which hath made the officers this day resolve of sitting at Deptford, which puts me to some consideration what to do.
Therefore home to think and consider of every thing about it, and without determining any thing eat a little supper and to bed, full of the pleasure of these 6 or 7 last days.

Read More ...