Samuel Pepys diary September 1666


September 1st. Up and at the office all the morning, and then dined at
home. Got my new closet made mighty clean against to-morrow. Sir W. Pen
and my wife and Mercer and I to “Polichinelly,” but were there horribly
frighted to see Young Killigrew come in with a great many more young
sparks; but we hid ourselves, so as we think they did not see us. By and
by, they went away, and then we were at rest again; and so, the play being
done, we to Islington, and there eat and drank and mighty merry; and so
home singing, and, after a letter or two at the office, to bed.

2nd (Lord’s day). Some of our mayds sitting up late last night to get
things ready against our feast to-day, Jane called us up about three in
the morning, to tell us of a great fire they saw in the City. So I rose
and slipped on my nightgowne, and went to her window, and thought it to be
on the backside of Marke-lane at the farthest; but, being unused to such
fires as followed, I thought it far enough off; and so went to bed again
and to sleep. About seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked out
at the window, and saw the fire not so much as it was and further off. So
to my closett to set things to rights after yesterday’s cleaning. By and
by Jane comes and tells me that she hears that above 300 houses have been
burned down to-night by the fire we saw, and that it is now burning down
all Fish-street, by London Bridge. So I made myself ready presently, and
walked to the Tower, and there got up upon one of the high places, Sir J.
Robinson’s little son going up with me; and there I did see the houses at
that end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite great fire on this and
the other side the end of the bridge; which, among other people, did
trouble me for poor little Michell and our Sarah on the bridge. So down,
with my heart full of trouble, to the Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells
me that it begun this morning in the King’s baker’s’ house in
Pudding-lane, and that it hath burned St. Magnus’s Church and most part of
Fish-street already. So I down to the water-side, and there got a boat and
through bridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell’s house, as
far as the Old Swan, already burned that way, and the fire running
further, that in a very little time it got as far as the Steeleyard, while
I was there. Everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging
into the river or bringing them into lighters that layoff; poor people
staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them, and
then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of stairs by the
water-side to another. And among other things, the poor pigeons, I
perceive, were loth to leave their houses, but hovered about the windows
and balconys till they were, some of them burned, their wings, and fell
down. Having staid, and in an hour’s time seen the fire: rage every way,
and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove their
goods, and leave all to the fire, and having seen it get as far as the
Steele-yard, and the wind mighty high and driving it into the City; and
every thing, after so long a drought, proving combustible, even the very
stones of churches, and among other things the poor steeple by which
pretty Mrs.————lives, and whereof my old
school-fellow Elborough is parson, taken fire in the very top, an there
burned till it fell down: I to White Hall (with a gentleman with me who
desired to go off from the Tower, to see the fire, in my boat); to White
Hall, and there up to the Kings closett in the Chappell, where people come
about me, and did give them an account dismayed them all, and word was
carried in to the King. So I was called for, and did tell the King and
Duke of Yorke what I saw, and that unless his Majesty did command houses
to be pulled down nothing could stop the fire. They seemed much troubled,
and the King commanded me to go to my Lord Mayor—[Sir Thomas
Bludworth. See June 30th, 1666.]—from him, and command him to spare
no houses, but to pull down before the fire every way. The Duke of York
bid me tell him that if he would have any more soldiers he shall; and so
did my Lord Arlington afterwards, as a great secret.

     [Sir William Coventry wrote to Lord Arlington on the evening of this
     day, “The Duke of York fears the want of workmen and tools to-morrow
     morning, and wishes the deputy lieutenants and justices of peace to
     summon the workmen with tools to be there by break of day.  In some
     churches and chapels are great hooks for pulling down houses, which
     should be brought ready upon the place to-night against the morning”
      (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1666-66, p. 95).]

Here meeting, with Captain Cocke, I in his coach, which he lent me, and
Creed with me to Paul’s, and there walked along Watlingstreet, as well as
I could, every creature coming away loaden with goods to save, and here
and there sicke people carried away in beds. Extraordinary good goods
carried in carts and on backs. At last met my Lord Mayor in Canningstreet,
like a man spent, with a handkercher about his neck. To the King’s message
he cried, like a fainting woman, “Lord! what can I do? I am spent: people
will not obey me. I have been pulling down houses; but the fire overtakes
us faster than we can do it.” That he needed no more soldiers; and that,
for himself, he must go and refresh himself, having been up all night. So
he left me, and I him, and walked home, seeing people all almost
distracted, and no manner of means used to quench the fire. The houses,
too, so very thick thereabouts, and full of matter for burning, as pitch
and tarr, in Thames-street; and warehouses of oyle, and wines, and brandy,
and other things. Here I saw Mr. Isaake Houblon, the handsome man,
prettily dressed and dirty, at his door at Dowgate, receiving some of his
brothers’ things, whose houses were on fire; and, as he says, have been
removed twice already; and he doubts (as it soon proved) that they must be
in a little time removed from his house also, which was a sad
consideration. And to see the churches all filling with goods by people
who themselves should have been quietly there at this time. By this time
it was about twelve o’clock; and so home, and there find my guests, which
was Mr. Wood and his wife Barbary Sheldon, and also Mr. Moons: she mighty
fine, and her husband; for aught I see, a likely man. But Mr. Moone’s
design and mine, which was to look over my closett and please him with the
sight thereof, which he hath long desired, was wholly disappointed; for we
were in great trouble and disturbance at this fire, not knowing what to
think of it. However, we had an extraordinary good dinner, and as merry,
as at this time we could be. While at dinner Mrs. Batelier come to enquire
after Mr. Woolfe and Stanes (who, it seems, are related to them), whose
houses in Fish-street are all burned; and they in a sad condition. She
would not stay in the fright. Soon as dined, I and Moone away, and walked,
through the City, the streets full of nothing but people and horses and
carts loaden with goods, ready to run over one another, and, removing
goods from one burned house to another. They now removing out of
Canning-streets (which received goods in the morning) into
Lumbard-streets, and further;

and among others I now saw my little goldsmith, Stokes, receiving some
friend’s goods, whose house itself was burned the day after. We parted at
Paul’s; he home, and I to Paul’s Wharf, where I had appointed a boat to
attend me, and took in Mr. Carcasse and his brother, whom I met in the
streets and carried them below and above bridge to and again to see the
fire, which was now got further, both below and above and no likelihood of
stopping it. Met with the King and Duke of York in their barge, and with
them to Queenhith and there called Sir Richard Browne to them. Their order
was only to pull down houses apace, and so below bridge the water-side;
but little was or could be done, the fire coming upon them so fast. Good
hopes there was of stopping it at the Three Cranes above, and at
Buttolph’s Wharf below bridge, if care be used; but the wind carries it
into the City so as we know not by the water-side what it do there. River
full of lighters and boats taking in goods, and good goods swimming in the
water, and only I observed that hardly one lighter or boat in three that
had the goods of a house in, but there was a pair of Virginalls

     [The virginal differed from the spinet in being square instead of
     triangular in form.  The word pair was used in the obsolete sense of
     a set, as we read also of a pair of organs.  The instrument is
     supposed to have obtained its name from young women, playing upon

in it. Having seen as much as I could now, I away to White Hall by
appointment, and there walked to St. James’s Parks, and there met my wife
and Creed and Wood and his wife, and walked to my boat; and there upon the
water again, and to the fire up and down, it still encreasing, and the
wind great. So near the fire as we could for smoke; and all over the
Thames, with one’s face in the wind, you were almost burned with a shower
of firedrops. This is very true; so as houses were burned by these drops
and flakes of fire, three or four, nay, five or six houses, one from
another. When we could endure no more upon the water; we to a little
ale-house on the Bankside, over against the ‘Three Cranes, and there staid
till it was dark almost, and saw the fire grow; and, as it grew darker,
appeared more and more, and in corners and upon steeples, and between
churches and houses, as far as we could see up the hill of the City, in a
most horrid malicious bloody flame, not like the fine flame of an ordinary
fire. Barbary and her husband away before us. We staid till, it being
darkish, we saw the fire as only one entire arch of fire from this to the
other side the bridge, and in a bow up the hill for an arch of above a
mile long: it made me weep to see it. The churches, houses, and all on
fire and flaming at once; and a horrid noise the flames made, and the
cracking of houses at their ruins. So home with a sad heart, and there
find every body discoursing and lamenting the fire; and poor Tom Hater
come with some few of his goods saved out of his house, which is burned
upon Fish-streets Hall. I invited him to lie at my house, and did receive
his goods, but was deceived in his lying there, the newes coming every
moment of the growth of the fire; so as we were forced to begin to pack up
our owne goods; and prepare for their removal; and did by moonshine (it
being brave dry, and moon: shine, and warm weather) carry much of my goods
into the garden, and Mr. Hater and I did remove my money and iron chests
into my cellar, as thinking that the safest place. And got my bags of gold
into my office, ready to carry away, and my chief papers of accounts also
there, and my tallys into a box by themselves. So great was our fear, as
Sir W. Batten hath carts come out of the country to fetch away his goods
this night. We did put Mr. Hater, poor man, to bed a little; but he got
but very little rest, so much noise being in my house, taking down of

3rd. About four o’clock in the morning, my Lady Batten sent me a cart to
carry away all my money, and plate, and best things, to Sir W. Rider’s at
Bednall-greene. Which I did riding myself in my night-gowne in the cart;
and, Lord! to see how the streets and the highways are crowded with people
running and riding, and getting of carts at any rate to fetch away things.
I find Sir W. Rider tired with being called up all night, and receiving
things from several friends. His house full of goods, and much of Sir W.
Batten’s and Sir W. Pen’s I am eased at my heart to have my treasure so
well secured. Then home, with much ado to find a way, nor any sleep all
this night to me nor my poor wife. But then and all this day she and I,
and all my people labouring to get away the rest of our things, and did
get Mr. Tooker to get me a lighter to take them in, and we did carry them
(myself some) over Tower Hill, which was by this time full of people’s
goods, bringing their goods thither; and down to the lighter, which lay at
next quay, above the Tower Docke. And here was my neighbour’s wife, Mrs.———-,with
her pretty child, and some few of her things, which I did willingly give
way to be saved with mine; but there was no passing with any thing through
the postern, the crowd was so great. The Duke of Yorke of this day by the
office, and spoke to us, and did ride with his guard up and down the City,
to keep all quiet (he being now Generall, and having the care of all).
This day, Mercer being not at home, but against her mistress’s order gone
to her mother’s, and my wife going thither to speak with W. Hewer, met her
there, and was angry; and her mother saying that she was not a ‘prentice
girl, to ask leave every time she goes abroad, my wife with good reason
was angry, and, when she came home, bid her be gone again. And so she went
away, which troubled me, but yet less than it would, because of the
condition we are in, fear of coming into in a little time of being less
able to keepe one in her quality. At night lay down a little upon a quilt
of W. Hewer’s in the office, all my owne things being packed up or gone;
and after me my poor wife did the like, we having fed upon the remains of
yesterday’s dinner, having no fire nor dishes, nor any opportunity of
dressing any thing.

4th. Up by break of day to get away the remainder of my things; which I
did by a lighter at the Iron gate and my hands so few, that it was the
afternoon before we could get them all away. Sir W. Pen and I to
Tower-streete, and there met the fire burning three or four doors beyond
Mr. Howell’s, whose goods, poor man, his trayes, and dishes, shovells,
&c., were flung all along Tower-street in the kennels, and people
working therewith from one end to the other; the fire coming on in that
narrow streete, on both sides, with infinite fury. Sir W. Batten not
knowing how to remove his wine, did dig a pit in the garden, and laid it
in there; and I took the opportunity of laying all the papers of my office
that I could not otherwise dispose of. And in the evening Sir W. Pen and I
did dig another, and put our wine in it; and I my Parmazan cheese, as well
as my wine and some other things. The Duke of Yorke was at the office this
day, at Sir W. Pen’s; but I happened not to be within. This afternoon,
sitting melancholy with Sir W. Pen in our garden, and thinking of the
certain burning of this office, without extraordinary means, I did propose
for the sending up of all our workmen from Woolwich and Deptford yards
(none whereof yet appeared), and to write to Sir W. Coventry to have the
Duke of Yorke’s permission to pull down houses, rather than lose this
office, which would, much hinder, the King’s business. So Sir W. Pen he
went down this night, in order to the sending them up to-morrow morning;
and I wrote to Sir W. Coventry about the business, but received no answer.
This night Mrs. Turner (who, poor woman, was removing her goods all this
day, good goods into the garden, and knows not how to dispose of them),
and her husband supped with my wife and I at night, in the office; upon a
shoulder of mutton from the cook’s, without any napkin or any thing, in a
sad manner, but were merry. Only now and then walking into the garden, and
saw how horridly the sky looks, all on a fire in the night, was enough to
put us out of our wits; and, indeed, it was extremely dreadful, for it
looks just as if it was at us; and the whole heaven on fire. I after
supper walked in the darke down to Tower-streete, and there saw it all on
fire, at the Trinity House on that side, and the Dolphin Taverne on this
side, which was very near us; and the fire with extraordinary vehemence.
Now begins the practice of blowing up of houses in Tower-streete, those
next the Tower, which at first did frighten people more than anything, but
it stopped the fire where it was done, it bringing down the

     [A copy of this letter, preserved among the Pepys MSS. in the
     author’s own handwriting, is subjoined:

     “SIR, The fire is now very neere us as well on Tower Streete as
     Fanchurch Street side, and we little hope of our escape but by this
     remedy, to ye want whereof we doe certainly owe ye loss of ye City
     namely, ye pulling down of houses, in ye way of ye fire.  This way
     Sir W. Pen and myself have so far concluded upon ye practising, that
     he is gone to Woolwich and Deptford to supply himself with men and
     necessarys in order to the doeing thereof, in case at his returne
     our condition be not bettered and that he meets with his R. Hs.
     approbation, which I had thus undertaken to learn of you.  Pray
     please to let me have this night (at whatever hour it is) what his
     R. Hs. directions are in this particular; Sir J. Minnes and Sir W.
     Batten having left us, we cannot add, though we are well assured of
     their, as well as all ye neighbourhood’s concurrence.

                              “Yr. obedient servnt.
                                                  “S. P.

     “Sir W. Coventry,
     “Septr.  4, 1666.”]

houses to the ground in the same places they stood, and then it was easy
to quench what little fire was in it, though it kindled nothing almost. W.
Newer this day went to see how his mother did, and comes late home,
telling us how he hath been forced to remove her to Islington, her house
in Pye-corner being burned; so that the fire is got so far that way, and
all the Old Bayly, and was running down to Fleete-streete; and Paul’s is
burned, and all Cheapside. I wrote to my father this night, but the
post-house being burned, the letter could not go.

     [J. Hickes wrote to Williamson on September 3rd from the “Golden
     Lyon,” Red Cross Street Posthouse.  Sir Philip [Frowde] and his lady
     fled from the [letter] office at midnight for: safety; stayed
     himself till 1 am. till his wife and childrens’ patience could stay,
     no longer, fearing lest they should be quite stopped up; the passage
     was so tedious they had much ado to get where they are.  The Chester
     and Irish, mails have come-in; sends him his letters, knows not how
     to dispose of the business (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1666-67,
     p. 95).]

5th. I lay down in the office again upon W. Hewer’s, quilt, being mighty
weary, and sore in my feet with going till I was hardly able to stand.
About two in the morning my wife calls me up and tells me of new cryes of
fire, it being come to Barkeing Church, which is the bottom of our lane. I
up, and finding it so, resolved presently to take her away, and did, and
took my gold, which was about L2350, W. Newer, and Jane, down by Proundy’s
boat to Woolwich; but, Lord! what sad sight it was by moone-light to see,
the whole City almost on fire, that you might see it plain at Woolwich, as
if you were by it. There, when I come, I find the gates shut, but no guard
kept at all, which troubled me, because of discourse now begun, that there
is plot in it, and that the French had done it. I got the gates open, and
to Mr. Shelden’s, where I locked up my gold, and charged, my wife and W.
Newer never to leave the room without one of them in it, night, or day. So
back again, by the way seeing my goods well in the lighters at Deptford,
and watched well by people. Home; and whereas I expected to have seen our
house on fire, it being now about seven o’clock, it was not. But to the
fyre, and there find greater hopes than I expected; for my confidence of
finding our Office on fire was such, that I durst not ask any body how it
was with us, till I come and saw it not burned. But going to the fire, I
find by the blowing up of houses, and the great helpe given by the workmen
out of the King’s yards, sent up by Sir W. Pen, there is a good stop given
to it, as well as at Marke-lane end as ours; it having only burned the
dyall of Barking Church, and part of the porch, and was there quenched. I
up to the top of Barking steeple, and there saw the saddest sight of
desolation that I ever saw; every where great fires, oyle-cellars, and
brimstone, and other things burning. I became afeard to stay there long,
and therefore down again as fast as I could, the fire being spread as far
as I could see it; and to Sir W. Pen’s, and there eat a piece of cold
meat, having eaten nothing since Sunday, but the remains of Sunday’s
dinner. Here I met with Mr. Young and Whistler; and having removed all my
things, and received good hopes that the fire at our end; is stopped, they
and I walked into the town, and find Fanchurch-streete, Gracious-streete;
and Lumbard-streete all in dust. The Exchange a sad sight, nothing
standing there, of all the statues or pillars, but Sir Thomas Gresham’s
picture in the corner. Walked into Moorefields (our feet ready to burn,
walking through the towne among the hot coles), and find that full of
people, and poor wretches carrying their good there, and every body
keeping his goods together by themselves (and a great blessing it is to
them that it is fair weathe for them to keep abroad night and day); drank
there, and paid two-pence for a plain penny loaf. Thence homeward, having
passed through Cheapside and Newgate Market, all burned, and seen Anthony
Joyce’s House in fire. And took up (which I keep by me) a piece of glasse
of Mercers’ Chappell in the streete, where much more was, so melted and
buckled with the heat of the fire like parchment. I also did see a poor
cat taken out of a hole in the chimney, joyning to the wall of the
Exchange; with, the hair all burned off the body, and yet alive. So home
at night, and find there good hopes of saving our office; but great
endeavours of watching all night, and having men ready; and so we lodged
them in the office, and had drink and bread and cheese for them. And I lay
down and slept a good night about midnight, though when I rose I heard
that there had been a great alarme of French and Dutch being risen, which
proved, nothing. But it is a strange thing to see how long this time did
look since Sunday, having been always full of variety of actions, and
little sleep, that it looked like a week or more, and I had forgot, almost
the day of the week.

6th. Up about five o’clock, and where met Mr. Gawden at the gate of the
office (I intending to go out, as I used, every now and then to-day, to
see how the fire is) to call our men to Bishop’s-gate, where no fire had
yet been near, and there is now one broke out which did give great grounds
to people, and to me too, to think that there is some kind of plot

     [The terrible disaster which overtook London was borne by the
     inhabitants of the city with great fortitude, but foreigners and
     Roman Catholics had a bad dime.  As no cause for the outbreak of the
     fire could be traced, a general cry was raised that it owed its
     origin to a plot.  In a letter from Thomas Waade to Williamson
     (dated “Whitby, Sept. 14th”) we read, “The destruction of London by
     fire is reported to be a hellish contrivance of the French,
     Hollanders, and fanatic party” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1666-67,
     p. 124).]

in this (on which many by this time have been taken, and, it hath been
dangerous for any stranger to walk in the streets), but I went with the
men, and we did put it out in a little time; so that that was well again.
It was pretty to see how hard the women did work in the cannells, sweeping
of water; but then they would scold for drink, and be as drunk as devils.
I saw good butts of sugar broke open in the street, and people go and take
handsfull out, and put into beer, and drink it. And now all being pretty
well, I took boat, and over to Southwarke, and took boat on the other side
the bridge, and so to Westminster, thinking to shift myself, being all in
dirt from top to bottom; but could not there find any place to buy a shirt
or pair of gloves, Westminster Hall being full of people’s goods, those in
Westminster having removed all their goods, and the Exchequer money put
into vessels to carry to Nonsuch; but to the Swan, and there was trimmed;
and then to White Hall, but saw nobody; and so home. A sad sight to see
how the River looks: no houses nor church near it, to the Temple, where it
stopped. At home, did go with Sir W. Batten, and our neighbour, Knightly
(who, with one more, was the only man of any fashion left in all the
neighbourhood thereabouts, they all removing their goods and leaving their
houses to the mercy of the fire), to Sir R. Ford’s, and there dined in an
earthen platter—a fried breast of mutton; a great many of us, but
very merry, and indeed as good a meal, though as ugly a one, as ever I had
in my life. Thence down to Deptford, and there with great satisfaction
landed all my goods at Sir G. Carteret’s safe, and nothing missed I could
see, or hurt. This being done to my great content, I home, and to Sir W.
Batten’s, and there with Sir R. Ford, Mr. Knightly, and one Withers, a
professed lying rogue, supped well, and mighty merry, and our fears over.
From them to the office, and there slept with the office full of
labourers, who talked, and slept, and walked all night long there. But
strange it was to see Cloathworkers’ Hall on fire these three days and
nights in one body of flame, it being the cellar full of oyle.

7th. Up by five o’clock; and, blessed be God! find all well, and by water
to Paul’s Wharfe. Walked thence, and saw, all the towne burned, and a
miserable sight of Paul’s church; with all the roofs fallen, and the body
of the quire fallen into St. Fayth’s; Paul’s school also, Ludgate, and
Fleet-street, my father’s house, and the church, and a good part of the
Temple the like. So to Creed’s lodging, near the New Exchange, and there
find him laid down upon a bed; the house all unfurnished, there being
fears of the fire’s coming to them. There borrowed a shirt of him, and
washed. To Sir W. Coventry, at St. James’s, who lay without curtains,
having removed all his goods; as the King at White Hall, and every body
had done, and was doing. He hopes we shall have no publique distractions
upon this fire, which is what every body fears, because of the talke of
the French having a hand in it. And it is a proper time for discontents;
but all men’s minds are full of care to protect themselves, and save their
goods: the militia is in armes every where. Our fleetes, he tells me, have
been in sight one of another, and most unhappily by fowle weather were
parted, to our great losse, as in reason they do conclude; the Dutch being
come out only to make a shew, and please their people; but in very bad
condition as to stores; victuals, and men. They are at Bullen; and our
fleete come to St. Ellen’s. We have got nothing, but have lost one ship,
but he knows not what. Thence to the Swan, and there drank: and so home,
and find all well. My Lord Bruncker, at Sir W. Batten’s, and tells us the
Generall is sent for up, to come to advise with the King about business at
this juncture, and to keep all quiet; which is great honour to him, but I
am sure is but a piece of dissimulation. So home, and did give orders for
my house to be made clean; and then down to Woolwich, and there find all
well: Dined, and Mrs. Markham come to see my wife. So I up again, and
calling at Deptford for some things of W. Hewer’s, he being with me, and
then home and spent the evening with Sir R. Ford, Mr. Knightly, and Sir W.
Pen at Sir W. Batten’s: This day our Merchants first met at Gresham
College, which, by proclamation, is to be their Exchange. Strange to hear
what is bid for houses all up and down here; a friend of Sir W. Rider’s:
having L150 for what he used to let for L40 per annum. Much dispute where
the Custome-house shall be thereby the growth of the City again to be
foreseen. My Lord Treasurer, they say, and others; would have it at the
other end of the towne. I home late to Sir W. Pen’s, who did give me a
bed; but without curtains or hangings, all being down. So here I went the
first time into a naked bed, only my drawers on; and did sleep pretty
well: but still hath sleeping and waking had a fear of fire in my heart,
that I took little rest. People do all the world over cry out of the
simplicity of my Lord Mayor in generall; and more particularly in this
business of the fire, laying it all upon’ him. A proclamation

     [On September 5th proclamation was made “ordering that for supply of
     the distressed people left destitute by the late dreadful and dismal
     fire....  great proportions of bread be brought daily, not
     only to the former markets, but to those lately ordained; that all
     churches, chapels, schools, and public buildings are to be open to
     receive the goods of those who know not how to dispose of them.” On
     September 6th, proclamation ordered “that as the markets are burned
     down, markets be held in Bishopsgate Street, Tower Hill, Smithfield,
     and Leadenhall Street” (“Calendar of State Papers,” 1666-67, pp.
     100, 104).]

is come out for markets to be kept at Leadenhall and Mileendgreene, and
several other places about the towne; and Tower-hill, and all churches to
be set open to receive poor people.

8th. Up and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen by water to White Hall and
they to St. James’s. I stopped with Sir G. Carteret to desire him to go
with us, and to enquire after money. But the first he cannot do, and the
other as little, or says, “when we can get any, or what shall we do for
it?” He, it seems, is employed in the correspondence between the City and
the King every day, in settling of things. I find him full of trouble, to
think how things will go. I left him, and to St. James’s, where we met
first at Sir W. Coventry’s chamber, and there did what business we can,
without any books. Our discourse, as every thing else, was confused. The
fleete is at Portsmouth, there staying a wind to carry them to the Downes,
or towards Bullen, where they say the Dutch fleete is gone, and stays. We
concluded upon private meetings for a while, not having any money to
satisfy any people that may come to us. I bought two eeles upon the
Thames, cost me six shillings. Thence with Sir W. Batten to the Cock-pit,
whither the Duke of Albemarle is come. It seems the King holds him so
necessary at this time, that he hath sent for him, and will keep him here.
Indeed, his interest in the City, being acquainted, and his care in
keeping things quiet, is reckoned that wherein he will be very
serviceable. We to him; he is courted in appearance by every body. He very
kind to us; I perceive he lays by all business of the fleete at present,
and minds the City, and is now hastening to Gresham College, to discourse
with the Aldermen. Sir W. Batten and I home (where met by my brother John,
come to town to see how things are with us), and then presently he with me
to Gresham College; where infinity of people, partly through novelty to
see the new place, and partly to find out and hear what is become one man
of another. I met with many people undone, and more that have
extraordinary great losses. People speaking their thoughts variously about
the beginning of the fire, and the rebuilding; of the City. Then to Sir W.
Batten’s, and took my brothet with me, and there dined with a great
company of neighbours; and much good discourse; among others, of the low
spirits of some rich men in the City, in sparing any encouragement to the
poor people that wrought for the saving their houses. Among others,
Alderman Starling, a very rich man, without; children, the fire at next
door to him in our lane, after our men had saved his house, did give 2s.
6d. among thirty of them, and did quarrel with some that would remove the
rubbish out of the way of the fire, saying that they come to steal. Sir W.
Coventry told me of another this morning, in Holborne, which he shewed the
King that when it was offered to stop the fire near his house for such a
reward that came but to 2s. 6d. a man among the neighbours he would, give
but 18d. Thence to Bednall Green by coach, my brother with me, and saw all
well there, and fetched away my journall book to enter for five days past,
and then back to the office where I find Bagwell’s wife, and her husband
come home. Agreed to come to their house to-morrow, I sending him away to
his ship to-day. To the office and late writing letters, and then to Sir
W. Pen’s, my brother lying with me, and Sir W. Pen gone down to rest
himself at Woolwich. But I was much frighted and kept awake in my bed, by
some noise I heard a great while below stairs; and the boys not coming up
to me when I knocked. It was by their discovery of people stealing of some
neighbours’ wine that lay in vessels in the streets. So to sleep; and all
well all night.

9th (Sunday). Up and was trimmed, and sent my brother to Woolwich to my
wife, to dine with her. I to church, where our parson made a melancholy
but good sermon; and many and most in the church cried, specially the
women. The church mighty full; but few of fashion, and most strangers. I
walked to Bednall Green, and there dined well, but a bad venison pasty at
Sir W. Rider’s. Good people they are, and good discourse; and his
daughter, Middleton, a fine woman, discreet. Thence home, and to church
again, and there preached Dean Harding; but, methinks, a bad, poor sermon,
though proper for the time; nor eloquent, in saying at this time that the
City is reduced from a large folio to a decimotertio. So to my office,
there to write down my journall, and take leave of my brother, whom I sent
back this afternoon, though rainy; which it hath not done a good while
before. But I had no room or convenience for him here till my house is
fitted; but I was very kind to him, and do take very well of him his
journey. I did give him 40s. for his pocket, and so, he being gone, and,
it presently rayning, I was troubled for him, though it is good for the
fyre. Anon to Sir W. Pen’s to bed, and made my boy Tom to read me asleep.

10th. All the morning clearing our cellars, and breaking in pieces all my
old lumber, to make room, and to prevent fire. And then to Sir W.
Batten’s, and dined; and there hear that Sir W. Rider says that the towne
is full of the report of the wealth that is in his house, and would be
glad that his friends would provide for the safety of their goods there.
This made me get a cart; and thither, and there brought my money all away.
Took a hackney-coach myself (the hackney-coaches now standing at Allgate).
Much wealth indeed there is at his house. Blessed be God, I got all mine
well thence, and lodged it in my office; but vexed to have all the world
see it. And with Sir W. Batten, who would have taken away my hands before
they were stowed. But by and by comes brother Balty from sea, which I was
glad of; and so got him, and Mr. Tooker, and the boy, to watch with them
all in the office all night, while I upon Jane’s coming went down to my
wife, calling at Deptford, intending to see Bagwell, but did not ‘ouvrir
la porte comme je’ did expect. So down late to Woolwich, and there find my
wife out of humour and indifferent, as she uses upon her having much
liberty abroad.

11th. Lay there, and up betimes, and by water with my gold, and laid it
with the rest in my office, where I find all well and safe. So with Sir W.
Batten to the New Exchange by water and to my Lord Bruncker’s house, where
Sir W. Coventry and Sir G. Carteret met. Little business before us but
want of money. Broke up, and I home by coach round the town. Dined at
home, Balty and myself putting up my papers in m closet in the office. He
away, I down to Deptford and there spoke with Bagwell and agreed upon
to-morrow, and come home in the rain by water. In the evening at Sir W.
Pen’s; with my wife, at supper, he in a mad, ridiculous, drunken humour;
and it seems there have been some late distances between his lady and him,
as my [wife] tells me. After supper, I home, and with Mr. Hater, Gibson,
and Tom alone, got all my chests and money into the further cellar with
much pains, but great content to me when done. So very late and weary, to

12th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to St. James’s by water,
and there did our usual business with the Duke of Yorke. Thence I to
Westminster, and there, spoke with Michell and Howlett, who tell me how
their poor young ones are going to Shadwell’s. The latter told me of the
unkindness of the young man to his wife, which is now over, and I have
promised to appear a counsellor to him. I am glad she is like to be so
near us again. Thence to Martin, and there did ‘tout ce que je voudrais
avec’ her, and drank, and away by water home and to dinner, Balty and his
wife there. After dinner I took him down with me to Deptford, and there by
the Bezan loaded above half my goods and sent them away. So we back home,
and then I found occasion to return in the dark and to Bagwell, and
there… did do all that I desired, but though I did intend ‘pour avoir
demeurais con elle’ to-day last night, yet when I had done ‘ce que je
voudrais I did hate both elle and la cose’, and taking occasion from the
occasion of ‘su marido’s return… did me lever’, and so away home late to
Sir W. Pen’s (Batty and his wife lying at my house), and there in the same
simple humour I found Sir W. Pen, and so late to bed.

13th. 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 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.

14th. Up, and to work, having carpenters come to helpe in setting up
bedsteads and hangings; and at that trade my people and I all the morning,
till pressed by publique business to leave them against my will in the
afternoon: and yet I was troubled in being at home, to see all my goods
lie up and down the house in a bad condition, and strange workmen going to
and fro might take what they would almost. All the afternoon busy; and Sir
W. Coventry come to me, and found me, as God would have it, in my office,
and people about me setting my papers to rights; and there discoursed
about getting an account ready against the Parliament, and thereby did
create me infinite of business, and to be done on a sudden; which troubled
me: but, however, he being gone, I about it late, and to good purpose. And
so home, having this day also got my wine out of the ground again, and set
in my cellar; but with great pain to keep the porters that carried it in
from observing the money-chests there. So to bed as last night, only my
wife and I upon a bedstead with curtains in that which was Mercer’s
chamber, and Balty and his wife (who are here and do us good service),
where we lay last night. This day, poor Tom Pepys, the turner, was with
me, and Kate, Joyce, to bespeake places; one for himself, the other for
her husband. She tells me he hath lost L140 per annum, but have seven
houses left.

15th. All the morning at the office, Harman being come to my great
satisfaction to put up my beds and hangings, so I am at rest, and followed
my business all day. Dined with Sir W. Batten, mighty busy about this
account, and while my people were busy, wrote near thirty letters and
orders with my owne hand. At it till eleven at night; and it is strange to
see how clear my head was, being eased of all the matter of all these
letters; whereas one would think that I should have been dazed. I never
did observe so much of myself in my life. In the evening there comes to me
Captain Cocke, and walked a good while in the garden. He says he hath
computed that the rents of houses lost by this fire in the City comes to
L600,000 per annum; that this will make the Parliament, more quiet than
otherwise they would have been, and give the King a more ready supply;
that the supply must be by excise, as it is in Holland; that the
Parliament will see it necessary to carry on the warr; that the late storm
hindered our beating the Dutch fleete, who were gone out only to satisfy
the people, having no business to do but to avoid us; that the French, as
late in the yeare as it is, are coming; that the Dutch are really in bad
condition, but that this unhappinesse of ours do give them heart; that
there was a late difference between my Lord Arlington and Sir W. Coventry
about neglect in the last to send away an express of the other’s in time;
that it come before the King, and the Duke of Yorke concerned himself in
it; but this fire hath stopped it. The Dutch fleete is not gone home, but
rather to the North, and so dangerous to our Gottenburgh fleete. That the
Parliament is likely to fall foul upon some persons; and, among others, on
the Vice-chamberlaine, though we both believe with little ground. That
certainly never so great a loss as this was borne so well by citizens in
the world; he believing that not one merchant upon the ‘Change will break
upon it. That he do not apprehend there will be any disturbances in State
upon it; for that all men are busy in looking after their owne business to
save themselves. He gone, I to finish my letters, and home to bed; and
find to my infinite joy many rooms clean; and myself and wife lie in our
own chamber again. But much terrified in the nights now-a-days with dreams
of fire, and falling down of houses.

16th (Lord’s day). Lay with much pleasure in bed talking with my wife
about Mr. Hater’s lying here and W. Hewer also, if Mrs. Mercer leaves her
house. To the office, whither also all my people about this account, and
there busy all the morning. At noon, with my wife, against her will, all
undressed and dirty, dined at Sir W. Pen’s, where was all the company of
our families in towne; but, Lord! so sorry a dinner: venison baked in
pans, that the dinner I have had for his lady alone hath been worth four
of it. Thence, after dinner, displeased with our entertainment, to my
office again, and there till almost midnight and my people with me, and
then home, my head mightily akeing about our accounts.

17th. Up betimes, and shaved myself after a week’s growth, but, Lord! how
ugly I was yesterday and how fine to-day! By water, seeing the City all
the way, a sad sight indeed, much fire being still in. To Sir W. Coventry,
and there read over my yesterday’s work: being a collection of the
particulars of the excess of charge created by a war, with good content.
Sir W. Coventry was in great pain lest the French fleete should be passed
by our fleete, who had notice of them on Saturday, and were preparing to
go meet them; but their minds altered, and judged them merchant-men, when
the same day the Success, Captain Ball, made their whole fleete, and come
to Brighthelmstone, and thence at five o’clock afternoon, Saturday, wrote
Sir W. Coventry newes thereof; so that we do much fear our missing them.
Here come in and talked with him Sir Thomas Clifford, who appears a very
fine gentleman, and much set by at Court for his activity in going to sea,
and stoutness everywhere, and stirring up and down. Thence by coach over
the ruines, down Fleete Streete and Cheapside to Broad Streete to Sir G.
Carteret, where Sir W. Batten (and Sir J. Minnes, whom I had not seen a
long time before, being his first coming abroad) and Lord Bruncker passing
his accounts. Thence home a little to look after my people at work and
back to Sir G. Carteret’s to dinner; and thence, after some discourse;
with him upon our publique accounts, I back home, and all the day with
Harman and his people finishing the hangings and beds in my house, and the
hangings will be as good as ever, and particularly in my new closet. They
gone and I weary, my wife and I, and Balty and his wife, who come hither
to-day to helpe us, to a barrel of oysters I sent from the river today,
and so to bed.

18th. Strange with what freedom and quantity I pissed this night, which I
know not what to impute to but my oysters, unless the coldness of the
night should cause it, for it was a sad rainy and tempestuous night. Soon
as up I begun to have some pain in my bladder and belly, as usual, which
made me go to dinner betimes, to fill my belly, and that did ease me, so
as I did my business in the afternoon, in forwarding the settling of my
house, very well. Betimes to bed, my wife also being all this day ill in
the same manner. Troubled at my wife’s haire coming off so much. This day
the Parliament met, and adjourned till Friday, when the King will be with

19th. Up, and with Sir W. Pen by coach to St. James’s, and there did our
usual business before the Duke of Yorke; which signified little, our
business being only complaints of lack of money. Here I saw a bastard of
the late King of Sweden’s come to kiss his hands; a mighty modish
French-like gentleman. Thence to White Hall, with Sir W. Batten and Sir W.
Pen, to Wilkes’s; and there did hear the many profane stories of Sir Henry
Wood damning the parsons for so much spending the wine at the sacrament,
cursing that ever they took the cup to themselves, and then another story
that he valued not all the world’s curses, for two pence he shall get at
any time the prayers of some poor body that is worth a 1000 of all their
curses; Lord Norwich drawing a tooth at a health. Another time, he and
Pinchbacke and Dr. Goffe, now a religious man, Pinchbacke did begin a
frolick to drink out of a glass with a toad in it that he had taken up
going out to shit, he did it without harm. Goffe, who knew sacke would
kill the toad, called for sacke; and when he saw it dead, says he, “I will
have a quick toad, and will not drink from a dead toad.”

     [“They swallow their own contradictions as easily as a hector can
     drink a frog in a glass of wine.”—Benlivoglio and Urania, book v.,
     p. 92, 3rd edit.—B.]

By that means, no other being to be found, he escaped the health. Thence
home, and dined, and to Deptford and got all my pictures put into
wherries, and my other fine things, and landed them all very well, and
brought them home, and got Sympson to set them all up to-night; and he
gone, I and the boy to finish and set up my books, and everything else in
my house, till two o’clock; in the morning, and then to bed; but mightily
troubled, and even in my sleep, at my missing four or five of my biggest
books. Speed’s Chronicle and Maps, and the two parts of Waggoner, and a
book of cards, which I suppose I have put up with too much care, that I
have forgot where they are; for sure they are not stole. Two little
pictures of sea and ships and a little gilt frame belonging to my plate of
the River, I want; but my books do heartily trouble me. Most of my gilt
frames are hurt, which also troubles me, but most my books. This day I put
on two shirts, the first time this year, and do grow well upon it; so that
my disease is nothing but wind.

20th. Up, much troubled about my books, but cannot, imagine where they
should be. Up, to the setting my closet to rights, and Sir W. Coventry
takes me at it, which did not displease me. He and I to discourse about
our accounts, and the bringing them to the Parliament, and with much
content to see him rely so well on my part. He and I together to Broad
Streete to the Vice-Chamberlain, and there discoursed a while and parted.
My Lady Carteret come to town, but I did not see her. He tells me how the
fleete is come into the Downes. Nothing done, nor French fleete seen: we
drove all from our anchors. But he says newes is come that De Ruyter is
dead, or very near it, of a hurt in his mouth, upon the discharge of one
of his own guns; which put him into a fever, and he likely to die, if not
already dead. We parted, and I home to dinner, and after dinner to the
setting things in order, and all my people busy about the same work. In
the afternoon, out by coach, my wife with me, which we have not done
several weeks now, through all the ruines, to shew her them, which frets
her much, and is a sad sight indeed. Set her down at her brother’s, and
thence I to Westminster Hall, and there staid a little while, and called
her home. She did give me an account of great differences between her
mother and Balty’s wife. The old woman charges her with going abroad and
staying out late, and painting in the absence of her husband, and I know
not what; and they grow proud, both he and she, and do not help their
father and mother out of what I help them to, which I do not like, nor my
wife. So home, and to the office, to even my journall, and then home, and
very late up with Jane setting my books in perfect order in my closet, but
am mightily troubled for my great books that I miss, and I am troubled the
more for fear there should be more missing than what I find, though by the
room they take on the shelves I do not find any reason to think it. So to

21st. Up, and mightily pleased with the setting of my books the last night
in order, and that which did please me most of all is that W. Hewer tells
me that upon enquiry he do find that Sir W. Pen hath a hamper more than
his own, which he took for a hamper of bottles of wine, and are books in
it. I was impatient to see it, but they were carried into a wine-cellar,
and the boy is abroad with him at the House, where the Parliament met
to-day, and the King to be with them. At noon after dinner I sent for
Harry, and he tells me it is so, and brought me by and by my hamper of
books to my great joy, with the same books I missed, and three more great
ones, and no more. I did give him 5s. for his pains, And so home with
great joy, and to the setting of some off them right, but could not finish
it, but away by coach to the other end of the town, leaving my wife at the
‘Change, but neither come time enough to the Council to speak with the
Duke of Yorke, nor with Sir G. Carteret, and so called my wife, and paid
for some things she bought, and so home, and there after a little doing at
the office about our accounts, which now draw near the time they should be
ready, the House having ordered Sir G. Carteret, upon his offering them,
to bring them in on Saturday next, I home, and there, with great pleasure,
very late new setting all my books; and now I am in as good condition as I
desire to be in all worldly respects. The Lord of Heaven make me
thankfull, and continue me therein! So to bed. This day I had new stairs
of main timber put t my cellar going into the yard.

22nd. To my closet, and had it new washed, and now my house is so clean as
I never saw it, or any other house in my life, and every thing in as good
condition as ever before the fire; but with, I believe, about L20 cost one
way or other besides about L20 charge in removing my goods, and do not
find that I have lost any thing but two little pictures of ship and sea,
and a little gold frame for one of my sea-cards. My glazier, indeed, is so
full of worke that I cannot get him to come to perfect my house. To the
office, and there busy now for good and all about my accounts. My Lord
Brunck come thither, thinking to find an office, but we have not yet met.
He do now give me a watch, a plain one, in the roome of my former watch
with many motions which I did give him. If it goes well, I care not for
the difference in worth, though believe there is above L5. He and I to Sir
G. Carteret to discourse about his account, but Mr. Waith not being there
nothing could be done, and therefore I home again, and busy all day. In
the afternoon comes Anthony Joyce to see me, and with tears told me his
losse, but yet that he had something left that he can live well upon, and
I doubt it not. But he would buy some place that he could have and yet
keepe his trade where he is settled in St. Jones’s. He gone, I to the
office again, and then to Sir G. Carteret, and there found Mr. Wayth, but,
Lord! how fretfully Sir G. Carteret do discourse with Mr. Wayth about his
accounts, like a man that understands them not one word. I held my tongue
and let him go on like a passionate foole. In the afternoon I paid for the
two lighters that carried my goods to Deptford, and they cost me L8. Till
past midnight at our accounts, and have brought them to a good issue, so
as to be ready to meet Sir G. Carteret and Sir W. Coventry to-morrow, but
must work to-morrow, which Mr. T. Hater had no mind to, it being the
Lord’s day, but, being told the necessity, submitted, poor man! This night
writ for brother John to come to towne. Among other reasons, my estate
lying in money, I am afeard of any sudden miscarriage. So to bed mightily
contented in dispatching so much business, and find my house in the best
condition that ever I knew it. Home to bed.

23rd (Lord’s day). Up, and after being trimmed, all the morning at the
office with my people about me till about one o’clock, and then home, and
my people with me, and Mr. Wayth and I eat a bit of victuals in my old
closet, now my little dining-room, which makes a pretty room, and my house
being so clean makes me mightily pleased, but only I do lacke Mercer or
somebody in the house to sing with. Soon as eat a bit Mr. Wayth and I by
water to White Hall, and there at Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings Sir W.
Coventry met, and we did debate the whole business of our accounts to the
Parliament; where it appears to us that the charge of the war from
September 1st, 1664, to this Michaelmas, will have been but L3,200,000,
and we have paid in that time somewhat about L2,200,000; so that we owe
above L900,000: but our method of accounting, though it cannot, I believe,
be far wide from the mark, yet will not abide a strict examination if the
Parliament should be troublesome. Here happened a pretty question of Sir
W. Coventry, whether this account of ours will not put my Lord Treasurer
to a difficulty to tell what is become of all the money the Parliament
have ‘give’ in this time for the war, which hath amounted to about
L4,000,000, which nobody there could answer; but I perceive they did doubt
what his answer could be. Having done, and taken from Sir W. Coventry the
minutes of a letter to my Lord Treasurer, Wayth and I back again to the
office, and thence back down to the water with my wife and landed him in
Southwarke, and my wife and I for pleasure to Fox-hall, and there eat and
drank, and so back home, and I to the office till midnight drawing the
letter we are to send with our accounts to my Lord Treasurer, and that
being done to my mind, I home to bed.

24th. Up, and with Sir W. Batten and Sir W. Pen to St. James’s, and there
with Sir W. Coventry read and all approved of my letter, and then home,
and after dinner, Mr. Hater and Gibson dining with me, to the office, and
there very late new moulding my accounts and writing fair my letter, which
I did against the evening, and then by coach left my wife at her
brother’s, and I to St. James’s, and up and down to look [for] Sir W.
Coventry; and at last found him and Sir G. Carteret with the Lord
Treasurer at White Hall, consulting how to make up my Lord Treasurer’s
general account, as well as that of the Navy particularly. Here brought
the letter, but found that Sir G. Carteret had altered his account since
he did give me the abstract of it: so all my letter must be writ over
again, to put in his last abstract. So to Sir G. Carteret’s lodgings, to
speak a little about the alteration; and there looking over the book that
Sir G. Carteret intends to deliver to the Parliament of his payments since
September 1st, 1664, and there I find my name the very second for flags,
which I had bought for the Navy, of calico; once, about 500 and odd
pounds, which vexed me mightily. At last, I concluded of scraping out my
name and putting in Mr. Tooker’s, which eased me; though the price was
such as I should have had glory by. Here I saw my Lady Carteret lately
come to towne, who, good lady! is mighty kind, and I must make much of
her, for she is a most excellent woman. So took up my wife and away home,
and there to bed, and

25th. Up betimes, with all my people to get the letter writ over, and
other things done, which I did, and by coach to Lord Bruncker’s, and got
his hand to it; and then to the Parliament House and got it signed by the
rest, and then delivered it at the House-door to Sir Philip Warwicke; Sir
G. Carteret being gone into the House with his book of accounts under his
arme, to present to the House. I had brought my wife to White Hall, and
leaving her with Mrs. Michell, where she sat in her shop and had burnt
wine sent for her, I walked in the Hall, and among others with Ned
Picketing, who continues still a lying, bragging coxcombe, telling me that
my Lord Sandwich may thank himself for all his misfortune; for not
suffering him and two or three good honest fellows more to take them by
the throats that spoke ill of him, and told me how basely Lionell Walden
hath carried himself towards my Lord; by speaking slightly of him, which I
shall remember. Thence took my wife home to dinner, and then to the
office, where Mr. Hater all the day putting in order and entering in a
book all the measures that this account of the Navy hath been made up by,
and late at night to Mrs. Turner’s, where she had got my wife and Lady Pen
and Pegg, and supped, and after, supper and the rest of the company by
design gone, Mrs. Turner and her husband did lay their case to me about
their lodgings, Sir J. Minnes being now gone wholly to his owne, and now,
they being empty, they doubt Sir T. Harvy or Lord Bruncker may look after
the lodgings. I did give them the best advice, poor people, that I could,
and would do them any kindnesse, though it is strange that now they should
have ne’er a friend of Sir W. Batten or Sir W. Pen to trust to but me,
that they have disobliged. So home to bed, and all night still mightily
troubled in my sleepe, with fire and houses pulling down.

26th. Up, and with Sir J. Minnes to St. James’s, where every body going to
the House, I away by coach to White Hall, and after a few turns, and
hearing that our accounts come into the House but to-day, being hindered
yesterday by other business, I away by coach home, taking up my wife and
calling at Bennet’s, our late mercer, who is come into Covent Garden to a
fine house looking down upon the Exchange; and I perceive many Londoners
every day come; and Mr. Pierce hath let his wife’s closett, and the little
blind bed chamber, and a garret to a silke man for L50 fine, and L30 per
annum, and L40 per annum more for dieting the master and two prentices. So
home, not agreeing for silk for a petticoat for her which she desired, but
home to dinner and then back to White Hall, leaving my wife by the way to
buy her petticoat of Bennet, and I to White Hall waiting all day on the
Duke of Yorke to move the King for getting Lanyon some money at Plymouth
out of some oyle prizes brought in thither, but could get nothing done,
but here Mr. Dugdale I hear the great loss of books in St. Paul’s
Church-yarde, and at their Hall also, which they value about L150,000;
some booksellers being wholly undone, among others, they say, my poor
Kirton. And Mr. Crumlu all his books and household stuff burned; they
trusting St. Fayth’s, and the roof of the church falling, broke the arch
down into the lower church, and so all the goods burned. A very great
loss. His father hath lost above L1000 in books; one book newly printed, a
Discourse, it seems, of Courts. Here I had the hap to see my Lady Denham:
and at night went into the dining-room and saw several fine ladies; among
others, Castlemayne, but chiefly Denham again; and the Duke of Yorke
taking her aside and talking to her in the sight of all the world, all
alone; which was strange, and what also I did not like. Here I met with
good Mr. Evelyn, who cries out against it, and calls it bitchering,—[This
word was apparently of Evelyn’s own making.]—for the Duke of Yorke
talks a little to her, and then she goes away, and then he follows her
again like a dog. He observes that none of the nobility come out of the
country at all to help the King, or comfort him, or prevent commotions at
this fire; but do as if the King were nobody; nor ne’er a priest comes to
give the King and Court good council, or to comfort the poor people that
suffer; but all is dead, nothing of good in any of their minds: he bemoans
it, and says he fears more ruin hangs over our heads. Thence away by
coach, and called away my wife at Unthanke’s, where she tells me she hath
bought a gowne of 15s. per yard; the same, before her face, my Lady
Castlemayne this day bought also, which I seemed vexed for, though I do
not grudge it her, but to incline her to have Mercer again, which I
believe I shall do, but the girle, I hear, has no mind to come to us
again, which vexes me. Being come home, I to Sir W. Batten, and there hear
our business was tendered to the House to-day, and a Committee of the
whole House chosen to examine our accounts, and a great many Hotspurs
enquiring into it, and likely to give us much trouble and blame, and
perhaps (which I am afeard of) will find faults enow to demand better
officers. This I truly fear. Away with Sir W. Pen, who was there, and he
and I walked in the garden by moonlight, and he proposes his and my
looking out into Scotland about timber, and to use Pett there; for timber
will be a good commodity this time of building the City; and I like the
motion, and doubt not that we may do good in it. We did also discourse
about our Privateer, and hope well of that also, without much hazard, as,
if God blesses us, I hope we shall do pretty well toward getting a penny.
I was mightily pleased with our discourse, and so parted, and to the
office to finish my journall for three or four days, and so home to
supper, and to bed. Our fleete abroad, and the Dutch too, for all we know;
the weather very bad; and under the command of an unlucky man, I fear. God
bless him, and the fleete under him!

27th. A very furious blowing night all the night; and my mind still
mightily perplexed with dreams, and burning the rest of the town, and
waking in much pain for the fleete. Up, and with my wife by coach as far
as the Temple, and there she to the mercer’s again, and I to look out
Penny, my tailor, to speak for a cloak and cassock for my brother, who is
coming to town; and I will have him in a canonical dress, that he may be
the fitter to go abroad with me. I then to the Exchequer, and there, among
other things, spoke to Mr. Falconbridge about his girle I heard sing at
Nonsuch, and took him and some other ‘Chequer men to the Sun Taverne, and
there spent 2s. 6d. upon them, and he sent for the girle, and she hath a
pretty way of singing, but hath almost forgot for want of practice. She is
poor in clothes, and not bred to any carriage, but will be soon taught
all, and if Mercer do not come again, I think we may have her upon better
terms, and breed her to what we please. Thence to Sir W. Coventry’s, and
there dined with him and Sir W. Batten, the Lieutenant of the Tower, and
Mr. Thin, a pretty gentleman, going to Gottenburgh. Having dined, Sir W.
Coventry, Sir W. Batten, and I walked into his closet to consider of some
things more to be done in a list to be given to the Parliament of all our
ships, and time of entry and discharge. Sir W. Coventry seems to think
they will soon be weary of the business, and fall quietly into the giving
the King what is fit. This he hopes. Thence I by coach home to the office,
and there intending a meeting, but nobody being there but myself and Sir
J. Minnes, who is worse than nothing, I did not answer any body, but kept
to my business in the office till night, and then Sir W. Batten and Sir W.
Pen to me, and thence to Sir W. Batten’s, and eat a barrel of oysters I
did give them, and so home, and to bed. I have this evening discoursed
with W. Hewer about Mercer, I having a mind to have her again; and I am
vexed to hear him say that she hath no mind to come again, though her
mother hath. No newes of the fleete yet, but that they went by Dover on
the 25th towards the Gunfleete, but whether the Dutch be yet abroad, or
no, we hear not. De Ruyter is not dead, but like to do well. Most think
that the gross of the French fleete are gone home again.

28th. Lay long in bed, and am come to agreement with my wife to have
Mercer again, on condition she may learn this winter two months to dance,
and she promises me she will endeavour to learn to sing, and all this I am
willing enough to. So up, and by and by the glazier comes to finish the
windows of my house, which pleases me, and the bookbinder to gild the
backs of my books. I got the glass of my book-presses to be done
presently, which did mightily content me, and to setting my study in a
little better order; and so to my office to my people, busy about our
Parliament accounts; and so to dinner, and then at them again close. At
night comes Sir W. Pen, and he and I a turn in the garden, and he broke to
me a proposition of his and my joining in a design of fetching timber and
deals from Scotland, by the help of Mr. Pett upon the place; which, while
London is building, will yield good money. I approve it. We judged a third
man, that is knowing, is necessary, and concluded on Sir W. Warren, and
sent for him to come to us to-morrow morning. I full of this all night,
and the project of our man of war; but he and, I both dissatisfied with
Sir W. Batten’s proposing his son to be Lieutenant, which we, neither of
us, like. He gone, I discoursed with W. Hewer about Mercer, having a great
mind she should come to us again, and instructed him what to say to her
mother about it. And so home, to supper, and to bed.

29th. A little meeting at the office by Sir W. Batten, Sir W. Pen, and
myself, being the first since the fire. We rose soon, and comes Sir W.
Warren, by our desire, and with Sir W. Pen and I talked of our Scotch
motion, which Sir W. Warren did seem to be stumbled at, and did give no
ready answer, but proposed some thing previous to it, which he knows would
find us work, or writing to Mr. Pett to be informed how matters go there
as to cost and ways of providing sawyers or saw-mills. We were parted
without coming to any good resolution in it, I discerning plainly that Sir
W. Warren had no mind to it, but that he was surprised at our motion. He
gone, I to some office business, and then home to dinner, and then to
office again, and then got done by night the lists that are to be
presented to the Parliament Committee of the ships, number of men, and
time employed since the war, and then I with it (leaving my wife at
Unthanke’s) to St. James’s, where Sir W. Coventry staid for me, and I
perused our lists, and find to our great joy that wages, victuals, wear
and tear, cast by the medium of the men, will come to above 3,000,000; and
that the extraordinaries, which all the world will allow us, will arise to
more than will justify the expence we have declared to have been at since
the war, viz., L320,000, he and I being both mightily satisfied, he saying
to me, that if God send us over this rub we must take another course for a
better Comptroller. So parted, and I to my wife [at Unthanke’s], who staid
for the finishing her new best gowne (the best that ever I made her
coloured tabby, flowered, and so took it and her home; and then I to my
people, and having cut them out a little more work than they expected,
viz., the writing over the lists in new method, I home to bed, being in
good humour, and glad of the end we have brought this matter to.

30th (Lord’s day). Up, and to church, where I have not been a good while:
and there the church infinitely thronged with strangers since the fire
come into our parish; but not one handsome face in all of them, as if,
indeed, there was a curse, as Bishop Fuller heretofore said, upon our
parish. Here I saw Mercer come into the church, which I had a mind to, but
she avoided looking up, which vexed me. A pretty good sermon, and then
home, and comes Balty and dined with us. A good dinner; and then to have
my haire cut against winter close to my head, and then to church again. A
sorry sermon, and away home. [Sir] W. Pen and I to walk to talk about
several businesses, and then home; and my wife and I to read in Fuller’s
Church History, and so to supper and to bed. This month ends with my mind
full of business and concernment how this office will speed with the
Parliament, which begins to be mighty severe in the examining our
accounts, and the expence of the Navy this war.