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I could, moved the business: he received it with great respect and content, and thanks to me, and promised that he would do what he possibly could for his son, to render him fit for my Lord's daughter, and showed great kindness to me, and sense of my kindness to him herein. Sir William Pen told me this day that Mr. Coventry is to be sworn a Privy Counsellor, at which my soul is glad.
25th. To White Hall, where, after I again visited Sir G. Carteret, and received his and now his lady's full content in my proposal, my Lord Sandwich did direct me to return to Sir G. Carteret, and give him thanks for his kind acceptation of this offer, and that he would the next day be willing to enter discourse with him about the business. My Lord, I perceive, intends to give £ 5000 with her, and expects about £800 per annum joynture. To Greenwich, by water, thinking to have visited Sir J. Lawson, where, when I come, I find that he died this morning, at which I was much surprized, and indeed the nation hath a great loss ; though I cannot, without dissembling, say that I am sorry for it; for he was a man never kind to me at all. Mr. Coventry, among other talk, entered upon the great question now in the House about the Duke's going to sea again; about which the whole House is divided. He did concur with me that, for the Duke's honour and safety, it were best, after so great a service and victory and danger, not to go again; and, above all, that the life of the Duke cannot but be a security to the Crowne—if he were away, it being more easy to attempt anything upon the King—but how the fleet will be governed without him, the Prince being a man
of no government, and severe in council, that no ordinary man can offer any advice against his-saying, truly, that it had been better he had gone to Guinny; and that, were he away, it were easy to see how things might be ordered—my Lord Sandwich being a man of temper and judgement, as much as any man he ever knew, and that upon good observation he said this, and that his temper must correct the Prince’s. But I perceive he is much troubled what will be the event of the question.
26th. To the Committee of Tangier, where my Lord Treasurer was, the first and only time he ever was there, and did promise us £15,000 for Tangier, and no more, which will be short. With Creed to the King's Head ordinary, and good sport with one Mr. Nicholls, a prating coxcombe, that would be thought a poet, but would not be got to repeat any of his verses. Home, and there find my wife's brother, and his wife, a pretty little modest woman, where they come to dine with my wife. He did come to desire my assistance for a living, and, upon his good promises of care, and that it should be no burden to me, I did say and promise I would think of finding something for him, and the rather because his wife seems a pretty discreet young thing, and humble, and he, above all things, desirous to do something to maintain her, telling me sad stories of what she endured in Holland; and I hope it will not be burdensome. The plague encreases mightily, I this day seeing a house, at a bitt-maker's, over against St. Clements Church, in the open street, shut up; which is a sad sight.
28th. I did take my leave of Sir William Coventry, who, it seems, was knighted, and sworn a Privy Counsellor two days since; who with his old kindness treated
me, and I believe I shall ever find [him) a noble friend. Sir G. Carteret tells me how all things proceed between my Lord Sandwich and himself to full content, and both sides depend upon having the match finished presently, and professed great kindness to me, and said that now we were something akin. In my way to Westminster Hall, I observed several plague-houses in King's Street and [near] the Palace. My Lord Sandwich is gone towards the sea to-day. It being a sudden resolution, I have taken no leave of him.
29th. By water to White Hall, where the Court full of waggons and people ready to go out of town. This end of the town every day grows very bad of the plague. The Mortality Bill is come to 267; which is about ninety more than the last: and of these but four in the City, which is a great blessing to us. Took leave again of Mr. Coventry; though I hope the Duke is not gone to stay, and so do others too. Home; calling at Somerset House, where all were packing up too: the Queene-Mother setting out for France this day, to drink Bourbon waters this year, she being in a consumption;" and intends not to come till winter come twelve-months.
30th. To White Hall, to the Duke of Albemarle, who I find at Secretary Bennet's, there being now no other great statesman, I think, but my Lord Chancellor, in town. At night, back by water, and in the dark and against the tide, shot the bridge, groping with their pole for the way, which troubled me before I got through. So home, about one or two o'clock in the morning, my family at a great loss what was become of me. Thus this book of two years ends. Myself and family in good health, consisting of myself and wife,
Mercer, her woman, Mary, Alce, and Susan, our maids, and Tom, my boy. In a sickly time of the plague growing on. Having upon my hands the troublesome care of the Treasury of Tangier, with great sums drawn upon me, and nothing to pay them with: also the business of the office great. Considering of removing my wife to Woolwich; she lately busy in learning to paint, with great pleasure and successe. All other things well ; especially a new interest I am making, by a match in hand between the eldest son of Sir G. Carteret, and my Lady Jemimah Montagu. The Duke of York gone down to the fleet; but all suppose not with intent to stay there, as it is not fit, all men conceive, he should.
July 1st. To the Duke of Albemarle's, by appointment, to give him an account of some disorder in the Yard at Portsmouth, by workmen's going away of their own accord, for lack of money, to get work of haymaking, or anything else, to earn themselves bread. To Westminster, where, I hear, the sickness encreases greatly. Sad at the news, that seven or eight houses in Burying Halli Street are shut up of the plague.
2d. Sir G. Carteret did send me word that the business between my Lord and him is fully agreed on, and is mightily liked of the King and the Duke of York. Sir J. Lawson was buried late last night at St. Dunstan’s by us, without any company at all. The condition of his family is but very poor.
3rd. The season growing so sickly, that it is much to be feared how a man can escape having a share with others in it, for which the good Lord God bless me! or make me fitted to receive it.
? Probably Basinghall.
4th. I hear this day the Duke and Prince Rupert are both come back from sea, and neither of them go back again. Bankert is come home with the little Fleet he has been abroad with, without doing anything, so that there is nobody of an enemy at sea. We are in great hopes of meeting with the Dutch East India fleet, which is mighty rich, or with De Ruyter, who is so also. Sir Richard Ford told me this day, at table, a fine account, how the Dutch were like to have been mastered by the present Prince of Orange his father to be besieged in Amsterdam!—having drawn an army of foot into the town, and horse near to the town by night, within three miles, and they never knew of it; but by chance the Hamburgh post in the night fell among the horse, and heard their design, and knowing the way, it being very dark and rainy, better than they, went from them, and did give notice to the town before the others could reach the town, and so were saved. It seems this De Witt and another family, the Beckarts, were among the chief of the familys that were enemies to the Prince, and were afterwards suppressed by the Prince, and continued so till he was, as they say, poisoned; and then they turned all again, as it was, against the young Prince, and have so carried it to this day, it being about 12 and 14 years, and De Witt in the head of them.
5th. Advised about sending my wife's bedding and things to-day to Woolwich, in order to her removal thither. Mr. Coventry tells me how matters are ordered in the fleet: my Lord Sandwich goes Admiral ; under him Sir G. Ascue, and Sir T. Teddiman: ViceAdmiral, Sir W. Pen; and under him Sir W. Barkeley,
* Sic orig.