The Flageolet in Pepys’ Diary

Monday, 16th January 1659/60

In the morning I went up to Mr. Crew’s, and at his bedside he gave me direction to go to-morrow with Mr. Edward to Twickenham, and likewise did talk to me concerning things of state; and expressed his mind how just it was that the secluded members should come to sit again. I went from thence, and in my way went into an alehouse and drank my morning draft with Matthew Andrews and two or three more of his friends, coachmen. And of one of them I did hire a coach to carry us to-morrow to Twickenham. From thence to my office, where nothing to do; but Mr. Downing he came and found me all alone; and did mention to me his going back into Holland, and did ask me whether I would go or no, but gave me little encouragement, but bid me consider of it; and asked me whether I did not think that Mr. Hawly could perform the work of my office alone or no. I confess I was at a great loss, all the day after, to bethink myself how to carry this business. At noon, Harry Ethall came to me and went along with Mr. Maylard by coach as far as Salsbury Court, and there we set him down, and we went to the Clerks, where we came a little too late, but in a closet we had a very good dinner by Mr. Pinkny’s courtesy, and after dinner we had pretty good singing, and one, Hazard, sung alone after the old fashion, which was very much cried up, but I did not like it. Thence we went to the Green Dragon, on Lambeth Hill, both the Mr. Pinkney’s, Smith, Harrison, Morrice, that sang the bass, Sheply and I, and there we sang of all sorts of things, and I ventured with good success upon things at first sight, and after that I played on my flageolet, and staid there till nine o’clock, very merry and drawn on with one song after another till it came to be so late. After that Sheply, Harrison and myself, we went towards Westminster on foot, and at the Golden Lion, near Charing Cross, we went in and drank a pint of wine, and so parted, and thence home, where I found my wife and maid a-washing. I staid up till the bell-man came by with his bell just under my window as I was writing of this very line, and cried, “Past one of the clock, and a cold, frosty, windy morning.” I then went to bed, and left my wife and the maid a-washing still.

Monday, 30th January

This morning, before I was up, I fell a-singing of my song, “Great, good, and just,” &c.1 and put myself thereby in mind that this was the fatal day, now ten years since, his Majesty died. Scull the waterman came and brought me a note from the Hope from Mr. Hawly with direction, about his money, he tarrying there till his master be gone. To my office, where I received money of the excise of Mr. Ruddyer, and after we had done went to Will’s and staid there till 3 o’clock and then I taking my 12l. 10s. 0d. due to me for my last quarter’s salary, I went with them by water to London to the house where Signr. Torriano used to be and staid there a while with Mr. Ashwell, Spicer and Ruddier. Then I went and paid 12l. 17s. 6d. due from me to Captn. Dick Matthews according to his direction the last week in a letter. After that I came back by water playing on my flageolette and not finding my wife come home again from her father’s I went and sat awhile and played at cards with Mrs. Jam, whose maid had newly got an ague and was ill thereupon. So homewards again, having great need to do my business, and so pretending to meet Mr. Shott the wood monger of Whitehall I went and eased myself at the Harp and Ball, and thence home where I sat writing till bed-time and so to bed. There seems now to be a general cease of talk, it being taken for granted that Monk do resolve to stand to the Parliament, and nothing else. Spent a little time this night in knocking up nails for my hat and cloaks in my chamber.

Friday, 3rd February

Drank my morning draft at Harper’s, and was told there that the soldiers were all quiet upon promise of pay. Thence to St. James’s Park, and walked there to my place for my flageolet and then played a little, it being a most pleasant morning and sunshine. Back to Whitehall, where in the guard-chamber I saw about thirty or forty ‘prentices of the City, who were taken at twelve o’clock last night and brought prisoners hither. Thence to my office, where I paid a little more money to some of the soldiers under Lieut.-Col. Miller (who held out the Tower against the Parliament after it was taken away from Fitch by the Committee of Safety, and yet he continued in his office). About noon Mrs. Turner came to speak with me, and Joyce, and I took them and shewed them the manner of the Houses sitting, the doorkeeper very civilly opening the door for us. Thence with my cozen Roger Pepys, it being term time, we took him out of the Hall to Priors, the Rhenish wine-house, and there had a pint or two of wine and a dish of anchovies, and bespoke three or four dozen bottles of wine for him against his wedding. After this done he went away, and left me order to call and pay for all that Mrs. Turner would have. So we called for nothing more there, but went and bespoke a shoulder of mutton at Wilkinson’s to be roasted as well as it could be done, and sent a bottle of wine home to my house. In the meantime she and I and Joyce went walking all over White Hall, whither General Monk was newly come, and we saw all his forces march by in very good plight and stout officers. Thence to my house where we dined, but with a great deal of patience, for the mutton came in raw, and so we were fain to stay the stewing of it. In the meantime we sat studying a Posy1 for a ring for her which she is to have at Roger Pepys his wedding. After dinner I left them and went to hear news, but only found that the Parliament House was most of them with Monk at White Hall, and that in his passing through the town he had many calls to him for a free Parliament, but little other welcome. I saw in the Palace Yard how unwilling some of the old soldiers were yet to go out of town without their money, and swore if they had it not in three days, as they were promised, they would do them more mischief in the country than if they had staid here; and that is very likely, the country being all discontented. The town and guards are already full of Monk’s soldiers. I returned, and it growing dark I and they went to take a turn in the park, where Theoph. (who was sent for to us to dinner) outran my wife and another poor woman, that laid a pot of ale with me that she would outrun her. After that I set them as far as Charing Cross, and there left them and my wife, and I went to see Mrs. Ann, who began very high about a flock bed I sent her, but I took her down. Here I played at cards till 9 o’clock. So home and to bed.

Wednesday, 8th February

A little practice on my flageolet, and afterwards walking in my yard to see my stock of pigeons, which begin now with the spring to breed very fast. I was called on by Mr. Fossan, my fellow pupil at Cambridge, and I took him to the Swan in the Palace yard, and drank together our morning draft. Thence to my office, where I received money, and afterwards Mr. Carter, my old friend at Cambridge, meeting me as I was going out of my office I took him to the Swan, and in the way I met with Captain Lidcott, and so we three went together and drank there, the Captain talking as high as ever he did, and more because of the fall of his brother Thurlow. Hence I went to Captain Stone, who told me how Squib had been with him, and that he could do nothing with him, so I returned to Mr. Carter and with him to Will’s, where I spent upon him and Monsieur L’Impertinent, alias Mr. Butler, who I took thither with me, and thence to a Rhenish wine house, and in our way met with Mr. Hoole, where I paid for my cozen Roger Pepys his wine, and after drinking we parted. So I home, in my way delivering a letter which among the rest I had from my Lord to-day to Sir N. Wheeler. At home my wife’s brother brought her a pretty black dog which I liked very well, and went away again. Hence sending a porter with the hamper of bottles to the Temple I called in my way upon Mrs. Jem, who was much frighted till I came to tell her that her mother was well. So to the Temple, where I delivered the wine and received the money of my cos. Roger that I laid out, and thence to my father’s, where he shewed me a base angry letter that he had newly received from my uncle Robert about my brother John, at which my father was very sad, but I comforted him and wrote an answer. My brother John has an exhibition granted him from the school. My father and I went down to his kitchen, and there we eat and drank, and about 9 o’clock I went away homewards, and in Fleet Street, received a great jostle from a man that had a mind to take the wall, which I could not help?1 I came home and to bed. Went to bed with my head not well by my too much drinking to-day, and I had a boil under my chin which troubled me cruelly.

Friday, 17th February

In the morning Tom that was my Lord’s footboy came to see me and had 10s. of me of the money which I have to keep of his. So that now I have but 35s. more of his. Then came Mr. Hills the instrument maker, and I consulted with him about the altering my lute and my viall. After that I went into my study and did up my accounts, and found that I am about; 40l. beforehand in the world, and that is all. So to my office and from thence brought Mr. Hawly home with me to dinner, and after dinner wrote a letter to Mr. Downing about his business and gave it Hawly, and so went to Mr. Gunning’s to his weekly fast, and after sermon, meeting there with Monsieur L’Impertinent, we went and walked in the park till it was dark. I played on my pipe at the Echo, and then drank a cup of ale at Jacob’s. So to Westminster Hall, and he with me, where I heard that some of the members of the House were gone to meet with some of the secluded members and General Monk in the City. Hence we went to White Hall, thinking to hear more news, where I met with Mr. Hunt, who told me how Monk had sent for all his goods that he had here into the City; and yet again he told me, that some of the members of the House had this day laid in firing into their lodgings at White Hall for a good while, so that we are at a great stand to think what will become of things, whether Monk will stand to the Parliament or no. Hence Mons. L’Impertinent and I to Harper’s, and there drank a cup or two to the King, and to his fair sister Frances good health, of whom we had much discourse of her not being much the worse for the small pox, which she had this last summer. So home and to bed. This day we are invited to my uncle Fenner’s wedding feast, but went not, this being the 27th year.

Monday, 27th February

Up by four o’clock, and after I was ready, took my leave of my father, whom I left in bed, and the same of my brother John, to whom I gave 10s. Mr. Blayton and I took horse and straight to Saffron Walden, where at the White Hart, we set up our horses, and took the master of the house to shew us Audley End House, who took us on foot through the park, and so to the house, where the housekeeper shewed us all the house, in which the stateliness of the ceilings, chimney-pieces, and form of the whole was exceedingly worth seeing. He took us into the cellar, where we drank most admirable drink, a health to the King. Here I played on my flageolette, there being an excellent echo. He shewed us excellent pictures; two especially, those of the four Evangelists and Henry VIII. After that I gave the man 2s. for his trouble, and went back again. In our going, my landlord carried us through a very old hospital or almshouse, where forty poor people was maintained; a very old foundation; and over the chimney in the mantelpiece was an inscription in brass: “Orate pre anima Thomae Bird,” &c.; and the poor box also was on the same chimney-piece, with an iron door and locks to it, into which I put 6d. They brought me a draft of their drink in a brown bowl, tipt with silver, which I drank off, and at the bottom was a picture of the Virgin and the child in her arms, done in silver. So we went to our Inn, and after eating of something, and kissed the daughter of the house, she being very pretty, we took leave, and so that night, the road pretty good, but the weather rainy to Ep[p]ing, where we sat and played a game at cards, and after supper, and some merry talk with a plain bold maid of the house, we went to bed.

Tuesday, 1st May 1660

This morning I was told how the people of Deal have set up two or three Maypoles, and have hung up their flags upon the top of them, and do resolve to be very merry to-day. It being a very pleasant day, I wished myself in Hide Park. This day I do count myself to have had full two years of perfect cure for the stone, for which God of heaven be blessed. This day Captain Parker came on board, and without his expectation I had a commission for him for the Nonsuch frigate (he being now in the Cheriton), for which he gave me a French pistole. Captain H. Cuttance has commission for the Cheriton. After dinner to nine-pins, and won something. The rest of the afternoon in my cabin writing and piping. While we were at supper we heard a great noise upon the Quarter Deck, so we all rose instantly, and found it was to save the coxon of the Cheriton, who, dropping overboard, could not be saved, but was drowned. To-day I put on my suit that was altered from the great skirts to little ones. To-day I hear they were very merry at Deal, setting up the King’s flag upon one of their maypoles, and drinking his health upon their knees in the streets, and firing the guns, which the soldiers of the Castle threatened; but durst not oppose.

Monday, 14th May

In the morning when I woke and rose, I saw myself out of the scuttle close by the shore, which afterwards I was told to be the Dutch shore; the Hague was clearly to be seen by us. My Lord went up in his nightgown into the cuddy,1 to see how to dispose thereof for himself and us that belong to him, to give order for our removal to-day. Some masty Dutchmen came on board to proffer their boats to carry things from us on shore, &c., to get money by us. Before noon some gentlemen came on board from the shore to kiss my Lord’s hands. And by and by Mr. North and Dr. Clerke went to kiss the Queen of Bohemia’s hands, from my Lord, with twelve attendants from on board to wait on them, among which I sent my boy, who, like myself, is with child to see any strange thing. After noon they came back again after having kissed the Queen of Bohemia’s hand, and were sent again by my Lord to do the same to the Prince of Orange. So I got the Captain to ask leave for me to go, which my Lord did give, and I taking my boy and judge Advocate with me, went in company with them. The weather bad; we were sadly washed when we came near the shore, it being very hard to land there. The shore is, as all the country between that and the Hague, all sand. The rest of the company got a coach by themselves; Mr. Creed and I went in the fore part of a coach wherein were two very pretty ladies, very fashionable and with black patches, who very merrily sang all the way and that very well, and were very free to kiss the two blades that were with them. I took out my flageolette and piped, but in piping I dropped my rapier-stick, but when I came to the Hague, I sent my boy back again for it and he found it, for which I did give him 6d., but some horses had gone over it and broke the scabbard. The Hague is a most neat place in all respects. The houses so neat in all places and things as is possible. Here we walked up and down a great while, the town being now very full of Englishmen, for that the Londoners were come on shore today. But going to see the Prince, he was gone forth with his governor, and so we walked up and down the town and court to see the place; and by the help of a stranger, an Englishman, we saw a great many places, and were made to understand many things, as the intention of may- poles, which we saw there standing at every great man’s door, of different greatness according to the quality of the person. About 10 at night the Prince comes home, and we found an easy admission. His attendance very inconsiderable as for a prince; but yet handsome, and his tutor a fine man, and himself a very pretty boy. It was bright moonshine to-night. This done we went to a place we had taken to sup in, where a sallet and two or three bones of mutton were provided for a matter of ten of us which was very strange. After supper the Judge and I to another house, leaving them there, and he and I lay in one press bed, there being two more in the same room, but all very neat and handsome, my boy sleeping upon a bench by me.

Thursday, 18th May

Very early up, and, hearing that the Duke of York, our Lord High Admiral, would go on board to-day, Mr. Pickering and I took waggon for Scheveling, leaving the child in Mr. Pierces hands, with directions to keep him within doors all day till he heard from me. But the wind being very high that no boats could get off from shore, we returned to the Hague (having breakfasted with a gentleman of the Duke’s, and Commissioner Pett, sent on purpose to give notice to my Lord of his coming), where I hear that the child is gone to Delfe to see the town. So we all and Mr. Ibbott, the Minister, took a schuit1 and very much pleased with the manner and conversation of the passengers, where most speak French; went after them, but met them by the way. But however we went forward making no stop. Where when we were come we got a smith’s boy of the town to go along with us, but could speak nothing but Dutch, and he showed us the church where Van Trump lies entombed with a very fine monument. His epitaph concluded thus:—”Tandem Bello Anglico tantum non victor, certe invictus, vivere et vincere desiit.” There is a sea-fight cut in marble, with the smoke, the best expressed that ever I saw in my life. From thence to the great church, that stands in a fine great market-place, over against the Stadt- house, and there I saw a stately tomb of the old Prince of Orange, of marble and brass; wherein among other rarities there are the angels with their trumpets expressed as it were crying. Here were very fine organs in both the churches. It is a most sweet town, with bridges, and a river in every street. Observing that in every house of entertainment there hangs in every room a poor-man’s box, and desiring to know the reason thereof, it was told me that it is their custom to confirm all bargains by putting something into the poor people’s box, and that binds as fast as any thing. We also saw the Guesthouse, where it was very pleasant to see what neat preparation there is for the poor. We saw one poor man a- dying there. After we had seen all, we light by chance of an English house to drink in, where we were very merry, discoursing of the town and the thing that hangs up in the Stadthouse like a bushel, which I was told is a sort of punishment for some sort of offenders to carry through the streets of the town over his head, which is a great weight. Back by water, where a pretty sober Dutch lass sat reading all the way, and I could not fasten any discourse upon her. At our landing we met with Commissioner Pett going down to the water-side with Major Harly, who is going upon a dispatch into England. They having a coach I left the Parson and my boy and went along with Commissioner Pett, Mr. Ackworth and Mr. Dawes his friends, to the Princess Dowager’s house again. Thither also my Lord Fairfax and some other English Lords did come to see it, and my pleasure was increased by seeing of it again. Besides we went into the garden, wherein are gallant nuts better than ever I saw, and a fine Echo under the house in a vault made on purpose with pillars, where I played on my flageolette to great advantage. Back to the Hague, where not finding Mr. Edward, I was much troubled, but went with the Parson to supper to Commissioner Pett, where we sat late. And among other mirth Mr. Ackworth vyed wives, each endeavouring to set his own wife out to the best advantage, he having as they said an extraordinary handsome wife. But Mr. Dawes could not be got to say anything of his. After that to our lodging where W. Howe and I exceeding troubled not to know what is become of our young gentleman. So to bed.

Wednesday, 21st June

To my Lord, much business. With him to the Council Chamber, where he was sworn; and the charge of his being admitted Privy Counsellor is 26l.. To the Dog Tavern at Westminster, where Murford with Captain Curle and two friends of theirs went to drink. Captain Curle, late of the Maria, gave me five pieces in gold and a silver can for my wife for the Commission I did give him this day for his ship, dated April 20, 1660 last. Thence to the Parliament door and came to Mr. Crew’s to dinner with my Lord, and with my Lord to see the great Wardrobe, where Mr. Townsend brought us to the governor of some poor children in tawny clothes; who had been maintained there these eleven years, which put my Lord to a stand how to dispose of them, that he may have the house for his use. The children did sing finely, and my Lord did bid me give them five pieces in gold at his going away. Thence back to White Hall, where, the King being gone abroad, my Lord and I walked a great while discoursing of the simplicity of the Protector, in his losing all that his father had left him. My Lord told me, that the last words that he parted with the Protector with (when he went to the Sound), were, that he should rejoice more to see him in his grave at his return home, than that he should give way to such things as were then in hatching, and afterwards did ruin him: and the Protector said, that whatever G. Montagu, my Lord Broghill, Jones, and the Secretary, would have him to do, he would do it, be it what it would. Thence to my wife, meeting Mr. Blagrave, who went home with me, and did give me a lesson upon the flageolet, and handselled my silver can with my wife and me. To my father’s, where Sir Thomas Honeywood and his family were come of a sudden, and so we forced to lie all together in a little chamber, three stories high.

Wednesday, 3rd April 1661

Up among my workmen, my head akeing all day from last night’s debauch. To the office all the morning, and at noon dined with Sir W. Batten and Pen, who would needs have me drink two drafts of sack to-day to cure me of last night’s disease, which I thought strange but I think find it true. Then home with my workmen all the afternoon, at night into the garden to play on my flageolette, it being moonshine, where I staid a good while, and so home and to bed. This day I hear that the Dutch have sent the King a great present of money, which we think will stop the match with Portugal; and judge this to be the reason that our so great haste in sending the two ships to the East Indys is also stayed.

Wednesday, 5th June

This morning did give my wife 4l. to lay out upon lace and other things for herself. I to Wardrobe and so to Whitehall and Westminster, where I dined with my Lord and Ned Pickering alone at his lodgings. After dinner to the office, where we sat and did business, and Sir W. Pen and I went home with Sir R. Slingsby to bowls in his ally, and there had good sport, and afterwards went in and drank and talked. So home Sir William and I, and it being very hot weather I took my flageolette and played upon the leads in the garden, where Sir W. Pen came out in his shirt into his leads, and there we staid talking and singing, and drinking great drafts of claret, and eating botargo and bread and butter till 12 at night, it being moonshine; and so to bed, very near fuddled.

Friday 26th March 1662

Up early. This being, by God’s great blessing, the fourth solemn day of my cutting for the stone this day four years, and am by God’s mercy in very good health, and like to do well, the Lord’s name be praised for it. To the office and Sir G. Carteret’s all the morning about business. At noon come my good guests, Madame Turner, The., and Cozen Norton, and a gentleman, one Mr. Lewin of the King’s LifeGuard; by the same token he told us of one of his fellows killed this morning in a duel. I had a pretty dinner for them, viz., a brace of stewed carps, six roasted chickens, and a jowl of salmon, hot, for the first course; a tanzy and two neats’ tongues, and cheese the second; and were very merry all the afternoon, talking and singing and piping upon the flageolette. In the evening they went with great pleasure away, and I with great content and my wife walked half an hour in the garden, and so home to supper and to bed. We had a man-cook to dress dinner to-day, and sent for Jane to help us, and my wife and she agreed at 3l. a year (she would not serve under) till both could be better provided, and so she stays with us, and I hope we shall do well if poor Sarah were but rid of her ague.

Friday, 9th May

Up and to my office, and so to dinner at home, and then to several places to pay my debts, and then to Westminster to Dr. Castle, who discoursed with me about Privy Seal business, which I do not much mind, it being little worth, but by Watkins’ late sudden death we are like to lose money. Thence to Mr. de Cretz, and there saw some good pieces that he hath copyed of the King’s pieces, some of Raphael and Michael Angelo; and I have borrowed an Elizabeth of his copying to hang up in my house, and sent it home by Will. Thence with Mr. Salisbury, who I met there, into Covent Garden to an alehouse, to see a picture that hangs there, which is offered for 20s., and I offered fourteen—but it is worth much more money—but did not buy it, I having no mind to break my oath. Thence to see an Italian puppet play that is within the rayles there, which is very pretty, the best that ever I saw, and great resort of gallants. So to the Temple and by water home, and so walk upon the leads, and in the dark there played upon my flageolette, it being a fine still evening, and so to supper and to bed. This day I paid Godfrey’s debt of 40 and odd pounds. The Duke of York went last night to Portsmouth; so that I believe the Queen is near.

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