Samuel Pepys diary October 1661

OCTOBER 1661

October 1st. This morning my wife and I lay long in bed, and among other
things fell into talk of musique, and desired that I would let her learn
to sing, which I did consider, and promised her she should. So before I
rose, word was brought me that my singing master, Mr. Goodgroome, was come
to teach me and so she rose and this morning began to learn also. To the
office, where busy all day. So to dinner and then to the office again till
night, and then to my study at home to set matters and papers in order,
which, though I can hardly bring myself to do, yet do please me much when
it is done. So eat a bit of bread and cheese, and to bed.

2nd. All this morning at Pegg Kites with my uncle Fenner, and two friends
of his, appraising her goods that her mother has left; but the slut is
like to prove so troublesome that I am out of heart with troubling myself
in her business. After we had done we all went to a cooks shop in
Bishopsgate Street and dined, and then I took them to the tavern and did
give them a quart of sack, and so parted. I home and then took my wife
out, and in a coach of a gentlewomans that had been to visit my Lady
Batten and was going home again our way, we went to the Theatre, but
coming late, and sitting in an ill place, I never had so little pleasure
in a play in my life, yet it was the first time that ever I saw it,
Victoria Corombona. Methinks a very poor play. Then at night troubled to
get my wife home, it being very dark, and so we were forced to have a
coach. So to supper and to bed.

3rd. At the office all the morning; dined at home, and in the afternoon
Mr. Moore came to me, and he and I went to Tower Hill to meet with a man,
and so back all three to my house, and there I signed a bond to Mr.
Battersby, a friend of Mr. Moores, who lends me L50, the first money that
ever I borrowed upon bond for my own occasion, and so I took them to the
Mitre and a Portugal millon with me; there sat and discoursed in matters
of religion till night with great pleasure, and so parted, and I home,
calling at Sir W. Battens, where his son and his wife were, who had
yesterday been at the play where we were, and it was good sport to hear
how she talked of it with admiration like a fool. So home, and my head was
not well with the wine that I drank to-day.

4th. By coach to White Hall with Sir W. Pen. So to Mr. Montagu, where his
man, Mons. Eschar, makes a great com plaint against the English, that they
did help the Spaniards against the French the other day; and that their
Embassador do demand justice of our King, and that he do resolve to be
gone for France the next week; which I, and all that I met with, are very
glad of. Thence to Paternoster Row, where my Will did receive the L50 I
borrowed yesterday. I to the Wardrobe to dinner, and there staid most of
the afternoon very merry with the ladies. Then Captain Ferrers and I to
the Theatre, and there came too late, so we staid and saw a bit of
Victoria, which pleased me worse than it did the other day. So we staid
not to see it out, but went out and drank a bottle or two of China ale,
and so home, where I found my wife vexed at her people for grumbling to
eat Suffolk cheese, which I also am vexed at. So to bed.

5th. At the office all the morning, then dined at home, and so staid at
home all the afternoon putting up my Lords model of the Royal James,
which I borrowed of him long ago to hang up in my room. And at night Sir
W. Pen and I alone to the Dolphin, and there eat some bloat-herrings

     [To bloat is to dry by smoke, a method chiefly used to cure herrings
     or bloaters.  I have more smoke in my mouth than would blote a
     hundred herrings.—Beaumont and Fletcher, Island Princess.  Why,
     you stink like so many bloat-herrings newly taken out of the
     chimney.—Ben Jonson, Masque of Augurs.]

and drank good sack. Then came in Sir W. Warren and another and staid a
while with us, and then Sir Arnold Brames, with whom we staid late and
till we had drank too much wine. So home and I to bed pleased at my
afternoons work in hanging up the shipp. So to bed.

6th (Lords day). To church in the morning; Mr. Mills preached, who, I
expect, should take in snuffe [anger] that my wife not come to his childs
christening the other day. The winter coming on, many of parish ladies are
come home and appear at church again; among others, the three sisters the
Thornburys, a very fine, and the most zealous people that ever I saw in
my life, even to admiration, if it were true zeal. There was also my
pretty black girl, Mrs. Dekins, and Mrs. Margaret Pen, this day come to
church in a new flowered satin suit that my wife helped to buy her the
other day. So me to dinner, and to church in the afternoon to St.
Gregorys, by Pauls, where I saw Mr. Moose in the gallery and went up to
him and heard a good sermon of Dr. Bucks, one I never heard before, a
very able man. So home, and in the evening I went to my Valentine, her
father and mother being out of town, to fetch her to supper to my house,
and then came Sir W. Pen and would have her to his, so with much sport I
got them all to mine, and we were merry, and so broke up and to bed.

7th. Up in the morning and to my uncle Fenners, thinking to have met Peg
Kite about her business but she comes not, so I went to Dr. Williams,
where I found him sick in bed and was sorry for it. So about business all
day, troubled in my mind till I can hear from Brampton, how things go on
at Sturtlow, at the Court, which I was cleared in at night by a letter,
which tells me that my cozen Tom was there to be admitted, in his fathers
name, as heir-at-law, but that he was opposed, and I was admitted by
proxy, which put me out of great trouble of mind.

8th. At the office all the morning. After office done, went and eat some
Colchester oysters with Sir W. Batten at his house, and there, with some
company; dined and staid there talking all the afternoon; and late after
dinner took Mrs. Martha out by coach, and carried her to the Theatre in a
frolique, to my great expense, and there shewed her part of the Beggars
Bush, without much pleasure, but only for a frolique, and so home again.

9th. This morning went out about my affairs, among others to put my
Theorbo out to be mended, and then at noon home again, thinking to go with
Sir Williams both to dinner by invitation to Sir W. Riders, but at home I
found Mrs. Pierce, la belle, and Madam Clifford, with whom I was forced to
stay, and made them the most welcome I could; and I was (God knows) very
well pleased with their beautiful company, and after dinner took them to
the Theatre, and shewed them The Chances; and so saw them both at home
and back to the Fleece tavern, in Covent Garden, where Luellin and
Blurton, and my old friend Frank Bagge, was to meet me, and there staid
till late very merry. Frank Bagge tells me a story of Mrs. Pepys that
lived with my Lady Harvy, Mr. Montagus sister, a good woman; that she had
been very ill, and often asked for me; that she is in good condition, and
that nobody could get her to make her will; but that she did still enquire
for me, and that now she is well she desires to have a chamber at my
house. Now I do not know whether this is a trick of Bagges, or a good
will of hers to do something for me; but I will not trust her, but told
him I should be glad to see her, and that I would be sure to do all that I
could to provide a place for her. So by coach home late.

10th. At the office all the morning; dined at home, and after dinner Sir
W. Pen and my wife and I to the Theatre (she first going into Covent
Garden to speak a word with a woman to enquire of her mother, and I in the
meantime with Sir W. Pens coach staying at W. Joyces), where the King
came to-day, and there was The Traytor most admirably acted; and a most
excellent play it is. So home, and intended to be merry, it being my sixth
wedding night; but by a late bruise…. I am in so much pain that I eat my
supper and in pain to bed, yet my wife and I pretty merry.

11th: All day in bed with a cataplasm…. and at night rose a little, and
to bed again in more ease than last night. This noon there came my brother
and Dr. Tom and Snow to dinner, and by themselves were merry.

12th. In bed the greatest part of this day also, and my swelling in some
measure gone. I received a letter this day from my father, that Sir R.
Bernard do a little fear that my uncle has not observed exactly the custom
of Brampton in his will about his lands there, which puts me to a great
trouble in mind, and at, night wrote to him and to my father about it,
being much troubled at it.

13th (Lords day). Did not stir out all day, but rose and dined below, and
this day left off half skirts and put on a wastecoate, and my false taby
wastecoate with gold lace; and in the evening there came Sir W. Batten to
see me, and sat and supped very kindly with me, and so to prayers and to
bed.

14th. This morning I ventured by water abroad to Westminster, but lost my
labour, for Mr. Montagu was not in town. So to the Wardrobe, and there
dined with my Lady, which is the first time I have seen her dine abroad
since her being brought to bed of my Lady Katherine. In the afternoon
Captain Ferrers and I walked abroad to several places, among others to Mr.
Pims, my Lords Taylours, and there he went out with us to the Fountain
tavern and did give us store of wine, and it being the Duke of Yorks
birthday, we drank the more to his health. But, Lord! what a sad story he
makes of his being abused by a Dr. of Physique who is in one part of the
tenement wherein he dwells. It would make one laugh, though I see he is
under a great trouble in it. Thence home by link and found a good answer
from my father that Sir R. Bernard do clear all things as to us and our
title to Brampton, which puts my heart in great ease and quiet.

15th. At the office all the morning, and in the afternoon to Pauls
Churchyard to a blind place, where Mrs. Goldsborough was to meet me (who
dare not be known where she lives) to treat about the difference which
remains between my uncle and her. But, Lord! to hear how she talks and how
she rails against my uncle would make one mad. But I seemed not to be
troubled at it, but would indeed gladly have an agreement with her. So I
appoint Mr. Moore and she another against Friday next to look into our
papers and to see what can be done to conclude the matter. So home in much
pain by walking too much yesterday…. which much troubles me.

16th. In bed till 12 oclock. This morning came several maids to my wife
to be hired, and at last she pitched upon one Nell, whose mother, an old
woman, came along with her, but would not be hired under half a year,
which I am pleased at their drollness. This day dined by appointment with
me, Dr. Thos. Pepys and my Coz: Snow, and my brother Tom, upon a fin of
ling and some sounds, neither of which did I ever know before, but most
excellent meat they are both, that in all my life I never eat the like
fish. So after dinner came in W. Joyce and eat and drank and were merry.
So up to my chamber, and put all my papers, at rights, and in the evening
our maid Mary. (who was with us upon trial for a month) did take leave of
us, going as we suppose to be married, for the maid liked us and we her,
but all she said was that she had a mind to live in a tradesmans house
where there was but one maid. So to supper and to bed.

17th. At the office all the morning, at noon my wife being gone to my coz
Snows with Dr. Thomas Pepys and my brother Tom to a venison pasty (which
proved a pasty of salted pork); by appointment I went with Captain David
Lambert to the Exchequer, and from thence by appointment he and I were to
meet at a cooks shop to dine. But before I went to him Captain. Cock, a
merchant I had not long known, took me to the Sun tavern and gave me a
glass of sack, and being a man of great observation and repute, did tell
me that he was confident that the Parliament, when it comes the next month
to sit again, would bring trouble with it, and enquire how the King had
disposed of offices and money, before they will raise more; which, I fear,
will bring all things to ruin again. Thence to the Cooks and there dined
with Captain Lambert and his father-in-law, and had much talk of
Portugall; from whence he is lately come, and he tells me it is a very
poor dirty place; I mean the City and Court of Lisbon; that the King is a
very rude and simple fellow; and, for reviling of somebody a little while
ago, and calling of him cuckold, was run into…. with a sword and had
been killed, had he not told them that he was their king. That there are
there no glass windows, nor will they have any; which makes sport among
our merchants there to talk of an English factor that, being newly come
thither, writ into England that glass would be a good commodity to send
thither, &c. That the King has his meat sent up by a dozen of lazy
guards and in pipkins, sometimes, to his own table; and sometimes nothing
but fruits, and, now and then, half a hen. And now that the Infanta is
become our Queen, she is come to have a whole hen or goose to her table,
which is not ordinary. So home and to look over my papers that concern the
difference between Mrs. Goldsborough and us; which cost me much pains, but
contented me much after it was done. So at home all the evening and to
supper and to bed.

18th. To White Hall, to Mr. Montagus, where I met with Mr. Pierce, the
purser, to advise about the things to be sent to my Lord for the Queens
provision, and was cleared in it, and now there is all haste made, for the
fleets going. At noon to my Lords to dinner, and in the afternoon,
leaving my wife there, Mr. Moore and I to Mrs. Goldsborough, who sent for
a friend to meet with us, and so we were talking about the difference
between us till 10 at night. I find it very troublesome, and have brought
it into some hopes of an agreement, I offering to forgive her L10 that is
yet due according to my uncles accounts to us. So we left her friend to
advise about it, and I hope to hear of her, for I would not by any means
go to law with a woman of so devilish a tongue as she has. So to my
Ladys, where I left my wife to lie with Mademoiselle all night, and I by
link home and to bed. This night lying alone, and the weather cold, and
having this last 7 or 8 days been troubled with a tumor… which is now
abated by a poultice of a good handful of bran with half a pint of vinegar
and a pint of water boiled till it be thick, and then a spoonful of honey
put to it and so spread in a cloth and laid to it, I first put on my
waistcoat to lie in all night this year, and do not intend to put it off
again till spring. I met with complaints at home that my wife left no
victuals for them all this day.

19th. At the office all the morning, and at noon Mr. Coventry, who sat
with us all the morning, and Sir G. Carteret, Sir W. Pen, and myself,. by
coach to Captain Marshes, at Limehouse, to a house that hath been their
ancestors for this 250 years, close by the lime-house which gives the name
to the place. Here they have a design to get the King to hire a dock for
the herring busses, which is now the great design on foot, to lie up in.
We had a very good and handsome dinner, and excellent wine. I not being
neat in clothes, which I find a great fault in me, could not be so merry
as otherwise, and at all times I am and can be, when I am in good habitt,
which makes me remember my father Osbornes rule for a gentleman to spare
in all things rather than in that. So by coach home, and so to write
letters by post, and so to bed.

20th (Lords day). At home in bed all the morning to ease my late tumour,
but up to dinner and much offended in mind at a proud trick my man Will
hath got, to keep his hat on in the house, but I will not speak of it to
him to-day; but I fear I shall be troubled with his pride and laziness,
though in other things he is good enough. To church in the afternoon,
where a sleepy Presbyter preached, and then to Sir W. Batten who is to go
to Portsmouth to-morrow to wait upon the Duke of York, who goes to take
possession and to set in order the garrison there. Supped at home and to
bed.

21st. Early with Mr. Moore by coach to Chelsy, to my Lord Privy Seals,
but have missed of coming time enough; and having taken up Mr. Pargiter,
the goldsmith (who is the man of the world that I do most know and believe
to be a cheating rogue), we drank our morning draft there together of cake
and ale, and did make good sport of his losing so much by the Kings
coming in, he having bought much of Crown lands, of which, God forgive me!
I am very glad. At Whitehall, at the Privy Seal, did with Sir W. Pen take
advice about passing of things of his there that concern his matters of
Ireland. Thence to the Wardrobe and dined, and so against my judgment and
conscience (which God forgive, for my very heart knows that I offend God
in breaking my vows herein) to the Opera, which is now newly begun to act
again, after some alteracion of their scene, which do make it very much
worse; but the play, Love and Honour, being the first time of their
acting it, is a very good plot, and well done. So on foot home, and after
a little business done in my study and supper, to bed.

22nd. At the office all the morning, where we had a deputation from the
Duke in his absence, he being gone to Portsmouth, for us to have the whole
disposal and ordering of the Fleet. In the afternoon about business up and
down, and at night to visit Sir R. Slingsby, who is fallen sick of this
new disease, an ague and fever. So home after visiting my aunt Wight and
Mrs. Norbury (who continues still a very pleasant lady), and to supper,
and so to bed.

23rd. To Whitehall, and there, to drink our morning, Sir W. Pen and I to a
friends lodging of his (Col. Pr. Swell), and at noon he and I dined
together alone at the Legg in King Street, and so by coach to Chelsy to my
Lord Privy Seals about business of Sir Williams, in which we had a fair
admittance to talk with my Lord, and had his answer, and so back to the
Opera, and there I saw again Love and Honour, and a very good play it
is. And thence home, calling by the way to see Sir Robert Slingsby, who
continues ill, and so home. This day all our office is invited against
Tuesday next, my Lord Mayors day, to dinner with him at Guildhall. This
evening Mr. Holliard came and sat with us, and gave us both directions to
observe.

24th. At the office all morning, at noon Luellin dined with me, and then
abroad to Fleet Street, leaving my wife at Toms while I went out and did
a little business. So home again, and went to see Sir Robert [Slingsby],
who continues ill, and this day has not spoke at all, which makes them all
afeard of him. So home.

25th. To Whitehall, and so to dinner at the Wardrobe, where my wife met
me, and there we met with a venison pasty, and my Lady very merry and very
handsome, methought. After dinner my wife and I to the Opera, and there
saw again Love and Honour, a play so good that it has been acted but
three times and I have seen them all, and all in this week; which is too
much, and more than I will do again a good while. Coming out of the house
we met Mrs. Pierce and her comrade Mrs. Clifford, and I seeming willing to
stay with them to talk my wife grew angry, and whether she be jealous or
no I know, not, but she loves not that I should speak of Mrs. Pierce. Home
on foot very discontented, in my way I calling at the Instrument maker,
Hunts, and there saw my lute, which is now almost done, it being to have
a new neck to it and to be made to double strings. So home and to bed.
This day I did give my man Will a sound lesson about his forbearing to
give us the respect due to a master and mistress.

26th. This morning Sir W. Pen and I should have gone out of town with my
Lady Batten, to have met Sir William coming back from Portsmouth; at
Kingston, but could not, by reason that my Lord of Peterborough (who is to
go Governor of Tangier) came this morning, with Sir G. Carteret, to advise
with us about completing of the affairs and preparacions for that place.
So at the office all the morning, and in the afternoon Sir W. Pen, my wife
and I to the Theatre, and there saw The Country Captain, the first time
it hath been acted this twenty-five years, a play of my Lord Newcastles,
but so silly a play as in all my life I never saw, and the first that ever
I was weary of in my life. So home again, and in the evening news was
brought that Sir R. Slingsby, our Comptroller (who hath this day been sick
a week), is dead; which put me into so great a trouble of mind, that all
the night I could not sleep, he being a man that loved me, and had many
qualitys that made me to love him above all the officers and commissioners
in the Navy. Coming home we called at Dan Rawlinsons; and there drank
good sack, and so home.

27th (Lords day). At church in the morning; where in the pew both Sir
Williams and I had much talk about the death of Sir Robert, which troubles
me much; and them in appearance, though I do not believe it; because I
know that he was a cheque to their engrossing the whole trade of the Navy
office. Home to dinner, and in the afternoon to church again, my wife with
me, whose mourning is now grown so old that I am ashamed to go to church
with her. And after church to see my uncle and aunt Wight, and there staid
and talked and supped with them, and were merry as we could be in their
company. Among other things going up into their chamber to see their two
pictures, which I am forced to commend against my judgment, and also she
showed us her cabinet, where she had very pretty medals and good jewels.
So home and to prayers and to bed.

28th. At the office all the morning, and dined at home, and so to Pauls
Churchyard to Hunts, and there found my Theorbo done, which pleases me
very well, and costs me 26s. to the altering. But now he tells me it is as
good a lute as any is in England, and is worth well L10. Hither I sent for
Captain Ferrers to me, who comes with a friend of his, and they and I to
the Theatre, and there saw Argalus and Parthenia, where a woman acted
Parthenia, and came afterwards on the stage in mens clothes, and had the
best legs that ever I saw, and I was very well pleased with it. Thence to
the Ringo alehouse, and thither sent for a belt-maker, and bought of him a
handsome belt for second mourning, which cost me 24s., and is very neat.

29th. This day I put on my half cloth black stockings and my new coat of
the fashion, which pleases me well, and with my beaver I was (after office
was done) ready to go to my Lord Mayors feast, as we are all invited; but
the Sir Williams were both loth to go, because of the crowd, and so none
of us went, and I staid and dined with them, and so home, and in evening,
by consent, we met at the Dolphin, where other company came to us, and
should have been merry, but their wine was so naught, and all other things
out of order, that we were not so, but staid long at night, and so home
and to bed. My mind not pleased with the spending of this day, because I
had proposed a great deal of pleasure to myself this day at Guildhall.
This Lord Mayor, it seems, brings up again the Custom of Lord Mayors going
the day of their installment to Pauls, and walking round about the Cross,
and offering something at the altar.

30th. All the morning at the office. At noon played on my Theorbo, and
much pleased therewith; it is now altered with a new neck. In the
afternoon Captain Lambert called me out by appointment, and we walked
together to Deptford, and there in his ship, the Norwich, I got him to
shew me every hole and corner of the ship, much to my information, and the
purpose of my going. So home again, and at Sir W. Battens heard how he
had been already at Sir R. Slingsbys, as we were all invited, and I
intended this night to go, and there he finds all things out of order, and
no such thing done to-night, but pretending that the corps stinks, they
will bury it to-night privately, and so will unbespeak all their guests,
and there shall be no funerall, which I am sorry for, that there should be
nothing done for the honour of Sir Robert, but I fear he hath left his
family in great distraction. Here I staid till late at cards with my Lady
and Mrs. Martha, and so home. I sent for a bottle or two of wine thither.
At my coming home I am sorry to find my wife displeased with her maid
Doll, whose fault is that she cannot keep her peace, but will always be
talking in an angry manner, though it be without any reason and to no
purpose, which I am sorry for and do see the inconvenience that do attend
the increase of a mans fortune by being forced to keep more servants,
which brings trouble. Sir Henry Vane, Lambert, and others, are lately sent
suddenly away from the Tower, prisoners to Scilly; but I do not think
there is any plot as is said, but only a pretence; as there was once
pretended often against the Cavaliers.

31st. This morning comes Prior of Brampton to me about the house he has to
buy of me, but I was forced to be at the office all the morning, and so
could not talk with him. And so, after the office was done, and dined at
home, I went to my brother Toms, and there met him. He demanded some
abatement, he having agreed with my father for Bartons house, at a price
which I told him I could not meddle with, but that as for anything to
secure his title to them I was ready, and so we parted. Thence to Sir
Robert Bernard, and as his client did ask his advice about my uncle
Thomass case and ours as to Gravely, and in short he tells me that there
is little hopes of recovering it or saving his annuity, which do trouble
me much, but Gods will be done. Hence, with my mind full of trouble, to
my uncle Fenners, when at the alehouse I found him drinking and very
jolly and youthsome, and as one that I believe will in a little time get a
wife. So home.