Samuel Pepys diary March 1661

MARCH 1660-1661

March 1st. All the morning at the office. Dined at home only upon fish,
and Mr. Shepley and Tom Hater with me. After dinner Mr. Shepley and I in
private talking about my Lords intentions to go speedily into the
country, but to what end we know not. We fear he is to go to sea with this
fleet now preparing. But we wish that he could get his L4000 per annum
settled before he do go. Then he and I walked into London, he to the
Wardrobe and I to Whitefryars, and saw The Bondman acted; an excellent
play and well done. But above all that ever I saw, Betterton do the Bond
man the best. Then to my fathers and found my mother ill. After staying a
while with them, I went home and sat up late, spending my thoughts how to
get money to bear me out in my great expense at the Coronacion, against
which all provide, and scaffolds setting up in every street. I had many
designs in my head to get some, but know not which will take. To bed.

2d. Early with Mr. Moore about Sir Paul Neales business with my uncle
and other things all the morning. Dined with him at Mr. Crews, and after
dinner I went to the Theatre, where I found so few people (which is
strange, and the reason I did not know) that I went out again, and so to
Salsbury Court, where the house as full as could be; and it seems it was a
new play, The Queens Maske, wherein there are some good humours: among
others, a good jeer to the old story of the Siege of Troy, making it to be
a common country tale. But above all it was strange to see so little a boy
as that was to act Cupid, which is one of the greatest parts in it. Then
home and to bed.

3rd (Lords day): Mr. Woodcocke preached at our church a very good sermon
upon the imaginacions of the thoughts of mans heart being only evil. So
home, where being told that my Lord had sent for me I went, and got there
to dine with my Lord, who is to go into the country tomorrow. I did give
up the mortgage made to me by Sir R. Parkhurst for L2,000. In the Abby all
the afternoon. Then at Mr. Pierces the surgeon, where Shepley and I
supped. So to my Lords, who comes in late and tells us how news is come
to-day of Mazarins being dead, which is very great news and of great
consequence.—[This report of the death of Cardinal Mazarin appears
to have been premature, for he did not die until the 9th of March, 1661.]—I
lay tonight with Mr. Shepley here, because of my Lords going to-morrow.

4th. My Lord went this morning on his journey to Hinchingbroke, Mr. Parker
with him; the chief business being to look over and determine how, and in
what manner, his great work of building shall be done. Before his going he
did give me some jewells to keep for him, viz., that that the King of
Sweden did give him, with the Kings own picture in it, most excellently
done; and a brave George, all of diamonds, and this with the greatest
expressions of love and confidence that I could imagine or hope for, which
is a very great joy to me. To the office all the forenoon. Then to dinner
and so to Whitehall to Mr. Coventry about several businesses, and then
with Mr. Moore, who went with me to drink a cup of ale, and after some
good discourse then home and sat late talking with Sir W. Batten. So home
and to bed.

5th. With Mr. Pierce, purser, to Westminster Hall, and there met with
Captain Cuttance, Lieut. Lambert, and Pierce, surgeon, thinking to have
met with the Commissioners of Parliament, but they not sitting, we went to
the Swan, where I did give them a barrel of oysters; and so I to my Ladys
and there dined, and had very much talk and pleasant discourse with my
Lady, my esteem growing every day higher and higher in her and my Lord. So
to my father Bowyers where my wife was, and to the Commissioners of
Parliament, and there did take some course about having my Lords salary
paid tomorrow when; the Charles is paid off, but I was troubled to see how
high they carry themselves, when in good truth nobody cares for them. So
home by coach and my wife. I then to the office, where Sir Williams both
and I set about making an estimate of all the officers salaries in
ordinary in the Navy till 10 oclock at night. So home, and I with my head
full of thoughts how to get a little present money, I eat a bit of bread
and cheese, and so to bed.

6th. At the office all the morning. At dinner Sir W. Batten came and took
me and my wife to his house to dinner, my Lady being in the country, where
we had a good Lenten dinner. Then to Whitehall with Captn. Cuttle, and
there I did some business with Mr. Coventry, and after that home, thinking
to have had Sir W. Batten, &c., to have eat a wigg—[Wigg, a kind
of north country bun or tea-cake, still so called, to my knowledge, in
Staffordshire.—M. B.]—at my house at night. But my Lady being
come home out of the country ill by reason of much rain that has fallen
lately, and the waters being very high, we could not, and so I home and to

7th. This morning Sir Williams both went to Woolwich to sell some old
provisions there. I to Whitehall, and up and down about many businesses.
Dined at my Lords, then to Mr. Crew to Mr. Moore, and he and I to London
to Guildhall to see the seamen paid off, but could not without trouble,
and so I took him to the Fleece tavern, where the pretty woman that
Luellin lately told me the story of dwells, but I could not see her. Then
towards home and met Spicer, D. Vines, Ruddiard, and a company more of my
old acquaintance, and went into a place to drink some ale, and there we
staid playing the fool till late, and so I home. At home met with ill news
that my hopes of getting some money for the Charles were spoiled through
Mr. Waiths perverseness, which did so vex me that I could not sleep at
night. But I wrote a letter to him to send to-morrow morning for him to
take my money for me, and so with good words I thought to coy with him. To

8th. All the morning at the office. At noon Sir W. Batten, Col. Slingsby
and I by coach to the Tower, to Sir John Robinsons, to dinner; where
great good cheer. High company; among others the Duchess of Albemarle, who
is ever a plain homely dowdy. After dinner, to drink all the afternoon.
Towards night the Duchess and ladies went away. Then we set to it again
till it was very late. And at last came in Sir William Wale, almost
fuddled; and because I was set between him and another, only to keep them
from talking and spoiling the company (as we did to others), he fell out
with the Lieutenant of the Tower; but with much ado we made him under
stand his error, and then all quiet. And so he carried Sir William Batten
and I home again in his coach, and so I almost overcome with drink went to
bed. I was much contented to ride in such state into the Tower, and be
received among such high company, while Mr. Mount, my Lady Duchesss
gentleman usher, stood waiting at table, whom I ever thought a man so much
above me in all respects; also to hear the discourse of so many high
Cavaliers of things past. It was a great content and joy to me.

9th. To Whitehall and there with Mr. Creed took a most pleasant walk for
two hours in the park, which is now a very fair place. Here we had a long
and candid discourse one to another of one anothers condition, and he
giving me an occasion I told him of my intention to get L60 paid me by him
for a gratuity for my labour extraordinary at sea. Which he did not seem
unwilling to, and therefore I am very glad it is out. To my Lords, where
we found him lately come from Hinchingbroke, where he left my uncle very
well, but my aunt not likely to live. I staid and dined with him. He took
me aside, and asked me what the world spoke of the Kings marriage. Which
I answering as one that knew nothing, he enquired no further of me. But I
do perceive by it that there is something in it that is ready to come out
that the world knows not of yet. After dinner into London to Mrs. Turners
and my fathers, made visits and then home, where I sat late making of my
journal for four days past, and so to bed.

10th (Lords day). Heard Mr. Mills in the morning, a good sermon. Dined at
home on a poor Lenten dinner of coleworts and bacon. In the afternoon
again to church, and there heard one Castle, whom I knew of my year at
Cambridge. He made a dull sermon. After sermon came my uncle and aunt
Wight to see us, and we sat together a great while. Then to reading and at
night to bed.

11th. At the office all the morning, dined at home and my father and Dr.
Thos. Pepys with him upon a poor dinner, my wife being abroad. After
dinner I went to the theatre, and there saw Loves Mistress done by
them, which I do not like in some things as well as their acting in
Salsbury Court. At night home and found my wife come home, and among other
things she hath got her teeth new done by La Roche, and are indeed now
pretty handsome, and I was much pleased with it. So to bed.

12th. At the office about business all the morning, so to the Exchange,
and there met with Nick Osborne lately married, and with him to the
Fleece, where we drank a glass of wine. So home, where I found Mrs. Hunt
in great trouble about her husbands losing of his place in the Excise.
From thence to Guildhall, and there set my hand to the book before Colonel
King for my sea pay, and blessed be God! they have cast me at midshipmans
pay, which do make my heart very glad. So, home, and there had Sir W.
Batten and my Lady and all their company and Capt. Browne and his wife to
a collation at my house till it was late, and then to bed.

13th. Early up in the morning to read The Seamans Grammar and
Dictionary I lately have got, which do please me exceeding well. At the
office all the morning, dined at home, and Mrs. Turner, The. Joyce, and
Mr. Armiger, and my father and mother with me, where they stand till I was
weary of their company and so away. Then up to my chamber, and there set
papers and things in order, and so to bed.

14th. With Sir W. Batten and Pen to Mr. Coventrys, and there had a
dispute about my claim to the place of Purveyor of Petty-provisions, and
at last to my content did conclude to have my hand to all the bills for
these provisions and Mr. Turner to purvey them, because I would not have
him to lose the place. Then to my Lords, and so with Mr. Creed to an
alehouse, where he told me a long story of his amours at Portsmouth to one
of Mrs. Boats daughters, which was very pleasant. Dined with my Lord and
Lady, and so with Mr. Creed to the Theatre, and there saw King and no
King, well acted. Thence with him to the Cock alehouse at Temple Bar,
where he did ask my advice about his amours, and I did give him it, which
was to enquire into the condition of his competitor, who is a son of Mr.
Gaudens, and that I promised to do for him, and he to make [what] use he
can of it to his advantage. Home and to bed.

15th. At the office all the morning. At noon Sir Williams both and I at a
great fish dinner at the Dolphin, given us by two tax merchants, and very
merry we were till night, and so home. This day my wife and Pall went to
see my Lady Kingston, her brothers lady.

16th. Early at Sir Wm. Pens, and there before Mr. Turner did reconcile
the business of the purveyance between us two. Then to Whitehall to my
Lords, and dined with him, and so to Whitefriars and saw The Spanish
Curate, in which I had no great content. So home, and was very much
troubled that Will. staid out late, and went to bed early, intending not
to let him come in, but by and by he comes and I did let him in, and he
did tell me that he was at Guildhall helping to pay off the seamen, and
cast the books late. Which since I found to be true. So to sleep, being in
bed when he came.

17th (Lords day). At church in the morning, a stranger preached a good
honest and painfull sermon. My wife and I dined upon a chine of beef at
Sir W. Battens, so to church again. Then home, and put some papers in
order. Then to supper at Sir W. Battens again, where my wife by chance
fell down and hurt her knees exceedingly. So home and to bed.

18th. This morning early Sir W. Batten went to Rochester, where he expects
to be chosen Parliament man. At the office all the morning, dined at home
and with my wife to Westminster, where I had business with the
Commissioner for paying the seamen about my Lords pay, and my wife at
Mrs. Hunts. I called her home, and made inquiry at Greatorexs and in
other places to hear of Mr. Barlow (thinking to hear that he is dead), but
I cannot find it so, but the contrary. Home and called at my Lady
Battens, and supped there, and so home. This day an ambassador from
Florence was brought into the town in state. Good hopes given me to-day
that Mrs. Davis is going away from us, her husband going shortly to
Ireland. Yesterday it was said was to be the day that the Princess
Henrietta was to marry the Duke dAnjou in France. This day I found in
the newes-booke that Roger Pepys is chosen at Cambridge for the town, the
first place that we hear of to have made their choice yet. To bed with my
head and mind full of business, which do a little put me out of order, and
I do find myself to become more and more thoughtful about getting of money
than ever heretofore.

19th. We met at the office this morning about some particular business,
and then I to Whitehall, and there dined with my Lord, and after dinner
Mr. Creed and I to White-Fryars, where we saw The Bondman acted most
excellently, and though I have seen it often, yet I am every time more and
more pleased with Bettertons action. From thence with him and young Mr.
Jones to Penells in Fleet Street, and there we drank and talked a good
while, and so I home and to bed.

20th. At the office all the morning, dined at home and Mr. Creed and Mr.
Shepley with me, and after dinner we did a good deal of business in my
study about my Lords accounts to be made up and presented to our office.
That done to White Hall to Mr. Coventry, where I did some business with
him, and so with Sir W. Pen (who I found with Mr. Coventry teaching of him
upon the map to understand Jamaica).

     [Sir William Penn was well fitted to give this information, as it
     was he who took the island from the Spaniards in 1655.]

By water in the dark home, and so to my Lady Battens where my wife was,
and there we sat and eat and drank till very late, and so home to bed. The
great talk of the town is the strange election that the City of London
made yesterday for Parliament-men; viz. Fowke, Love, Jones, and… men
that are so far from being episcopall that they are thought to be
Anabaptists; and chosen with a great deal of zeal, in spite of the other
party that thought themselves very strong, calling out in the Hall, No
Bishops! no Lord Bishops! It do make people to fear it may come to worse,
by being an example to the country to do the same. And indeed the Bishops
are so high, that very few do love them.

21st. Up very early, and to work and study in my chamber, and then to
Whitehall to my Lord, and there did stay with him a good while discoursing
upon his accounts. Here I staid with Mr. Creed all the morning, and at
noon dined with my Lord, who was very merry, and after dinner we sang and
fiddled a great while. Then I by water (Mr. Shepley, Pinkney, and others
going part of the way) home, and then hard at work setting my papers in
order, and writing letters till night, and so to bed. This day I saw the
Florence Ambassador go to his audience, the weather very foul, and yet he
and his company very gallant. After I was a-bed Sir W. Pen sent to desire
me to go with him to-morrow morning to meet Sir W. Batten coming from

22nd. This morning I rose early, and my Lady Batten knocked at her door
that comes into one of my chambers, and called me to know whether I and my
wife were ready to go. So my wife got her ready, and about eight oclock I
got a horseback, and my Lady and her two daughters, and Sir W. Pen into
coach, and so over London Bridge, and thence to Dartford. The day very
pleasant, though the way bad. Here we met with Sir W. Batten, and some
company along with him, who had assisted him in his election at Rochester;
and so we dined and were very merry. At 5 oclock we set out again in a
coach home, and were very merry all the way. At Deptford we met with Mr.
Newborne, and some other friends and their wives in a coach to meet us,
and so they went home with us, and at Sir W. Battens we supped, and
thence to bed, my head akeing mightily through the wine that I drank

23d. All the morning at home putting papers in order, dined at home, and
then out to the Red Bull (where I had not been since plays come up again),
but coming too soon I went out again and walked all up and down the
Charterhouse yard and Aldersgate street. At last came back again and went
in, where I was led by a seaman that knew me, but is here as a servant, up
to the tireing-room, where strange the confusion and disorder that there
is among them in fitting themselves, especially here, where the clothes
are very poor, and the actors but common fellows. At last into the Pitt,
where I think there was not above ten more than myself, and not one
hundred in the whole house. And the play, which is called Alls lost by
Lust, poorly done; and with so much disorder, among others, that in the
musique-room the boy that was to sing a song, not singing it right, his
master fell about his ears and beat him so, that it put the whole house in
an uprore. Thence homewards, and at the Mitre met my uncle Wight, and with
him Lieut.-Col. Baron, who told us how Crofton, the great Presbyterian
minister that had lately preached so highly against Bishops, is clapped up
this day into the Tower. Which do please some, and displease others
exceedingly. Home and to bed.

24th (Lords day). My wife and I to church, and then home with Sir W.
Batten and my Lady to dinner, where very merry, and then to church again,
where Mr. Mills made a good sermon. Home again, and after a walk in the
garden Sir W. Battens two daughters came and sat with us a while, and I
then up to my chamber to read.

25th (Lady day). This morning came workmen to begin the making of me a new
pair of stairs up out of my parler, which, with other work that I have to
do, I doubt will keep me this two months and so long I shall be all in
dirt; but the work do please me very well. To the office, and there all
the morning, dined at home, and after dinner comes Mr. Salisbury to see
me, and shewed me a face or two of his paynting, and indeed I perceive
that he will be a great master. I took him to Whitehall with me by water,
but he would not by any means be moved to go through bridge, and so we
were fain to go round by the Old Swan. To my Lords and there I shewed him
the Kings picture, which he intends to copy out in little. After that I
and Captain Ferrers to Salisbury Court by water, and saw part of the
Queenes Maske. Then I to Mrs. Turner, and there staid talking late.
The. Turner being in a great chafe, about being disappointed of a room to
stand in at the Coronacion. Then to my fathers, and there staid talking
with my mother and him late about my dinner to-morrow. So homewards and
took up a boy that had a lanthorn, that was picking up of rags, and got
him to light me home, and had great discourse with him how he could get
sometimes three or four bushells of rags in a day, and got 3d. a bushell
for them, and many other discourses, what and how many ways there are for
poor children to get their livings honestly. So home and I to bed at 12
oclock at night, being pleased well with the work that my workmen have
begun to-day.

26th. Up early to do business in my study. This is my great day that three
years ago I was cut of the stone, and, blessed be God, I do yet find
myself very free from pain again. All this morning I staid at home looking
after my workmen to my great content about my stairs, and at noon by coach
to my fathers, where Mrs. Turner, The. Joyce, Mr. Morrice, Mr. Armiger,
Mr. Pierce, the surgeon, and his wife, my father and mother, and myself
and my wife. Very merry at dinner; among other things, because Mrs. Turner
and her company eat no flesh at all this Lent, and I had a great deal of
good flesh which made their mouths water. After dinner Mrs. Pierce and her
husband and I and my wife to Salisbury Court, where coming late he and she
light of Col. Boone that made room for them, and I and my wife sat in the
pit, and there met with Mr. Lewes and Tom Whitton, and saw The Bondman
done to admiration. So home by coach, and after a view of what the workmen
had done to-day I went to bed.

27th. Up early to see my workmen at work. My brother Tom comes to me, and
among other things I looked over my old clothes and did give him a suit of
black stuff clothes and a hat and some shoes. At the office all the
morning, where Sir G. Carteret comes, and there I did get him to promise
me some money upon a bill of exchange, whereby I shall secure myself of
L60 which otherwise I should not know how to get. At noon I found my
stairs quite broke down, that I could not get up but by a ladder; and my
wife not being well she kept her chamber all this day. To the Dolphin to a
dinner of Mr. Harriss, where Sir Williams both and my Lady Batten, and
her two daughters, and other company, where a great deal of mirth, and
there staid till 11 oclock at night; and in our mirth I sang and
sometimes fiddled (there being a noise of fiddlers there), and at last we
fell to dancing, the first time that ever I did in my life, which I did
wonder to see myself to do. At last we made Mingo, Sir W. Battens black,
and Jack, Sir W. Pens, dance, and it was strange how the first did dance
with a great deal of seeming skill. Home, where I found my wife all day in
her chamber. So to bed.

28th. Up early among my workmen, then Mr. Creed coming to see me I went
along with him to Sir Robert Slingsby (he being newly maister of that
title by being made a Baronett) to discourse about Mr. Creeds accounts to
be made up, and from thence by coach to my cozen Thomas Pepys, to borrow
L1000 for my Lord, which I am to expect an answer to tomorrow. So to my
Lords, and there staid and dined, and after dinner did get my Lord to
view Mr. Shepleys accounts as I had examined them, and also to sign me a
bond for my L500. Then with Mr. Shepley to the Theatre and saw Rollo ill
acted. That done to drink a cup of ale and so by coach to London, and
having set him down in Cheapside I went home, where I found a great deal
of work done to-day, and also L70 paid me by the Treasurer upon the bill
of exchange that I have had hopes of so long, so that, my heart in great
content; I went to bed.

29th. Up among my workmen with great pleasure. Then to the office, where I
found Sir W. Pen sent down yesterday to Chatham to get two great ships in
readiness presently to go to the East Indies upon some design against the
Dutch, we think, at Goa but it is a great secret yet. Dined at home, came
Mr. Shepley and Moore, and did business with both of them. After that to
Sir W. Battens, where great store of company at dinner. Among others my
schoolfellow, Mr. Christmas, where very merry, and hither came letters
from above for the fitting of two other ships for the East Indies in all
haste, and so we got orders presently for the Hampshire and Nonsuch. Then
home and there put some papers in order, and not knowing what to do, the
house being so dirty, I went to bed.

30th. At the office we and Sir W. Rider to advise what sort of provisions
to get ready for these ships going to the Indies. Then the Comptroller and
I by water to Mr. Coventry, and there discoursed upon the same thing. So
to my coz. Tho. Pepys, and got him to promise me L1,000 to lend my Lord
upon his and my uncle Roberts and my security. So to my Lords, and there
got him to sign a bond to him, which I also signed too, and he did sign
counter security to us both. Then into London up and down and drank a pint
of wine with Mr. Creed, and so home and sent a letter and the bonds to my
uncle to sign for my Lord. This day I spoke with Dr. Castle about making
up the dividend for the last quarter, and agreed to meet about it on

31st (Sunday). At church, where a stranger preached like a fool. From
thence home and dined with my wife, she staying at home, being unwilling
to dress herself, the house being all dirty. To church again, and after
sermon I walked to my fathers, and to Mrs. Turners, where I could not
woo The. to give me a lesson upon the harpsicon and was angry at it. So
home and finding Will abroad at Sir W. Battens talking with the people
there (Sir W. and my Lady being in the country), I took occasion to be
angry with him, and so to prayers and to bed.