Seaside holiday

Up and to the office, where Sir J. Minnes (most of the rest being at the Parliament-house), all the morning answering petitions and other business. Towards noon there comes a man in as if upon ordinary business, and shows me a writ from the Exchequer, called a Commission of Rebellion, and tells me that I am his prisoner in Field’s business; which methought did strike me to the heart, to think that we could not sit in the middle of the King’s business. I told him how and where we were employed, and bid him have a care; and perceiving that we were busy, he said he would, and did withdraw for an hour: in which time Sir J. Minnes took coach and to Court, to see what he could do from thence; and our solicitor against Field came by chance and told me that he would go and satisfy the fees of the Court, and would end the business. So he went away about that, and I staid in my closett, till by and by the man and four more of his fellows came to know what I would do; I told them stay till I heard from the King or my Lord Chief Baron, to both whom I had now sent. With that they consulted, and told me that if I would promise to stay in the house they would go and refresh themselves, and come again, and know what answer I had: so they away, and I home to dinner, whither by chance comes Mr. Hawley and dined with me.
Before I had dined, the bayleys come back again with the constable, and at the office knock for me, but found me not there; and I hearing in what manner they were come, did forbear letting them know where I was; so they stood knocking and enquiring for me.
By and by at my parler-window comes Sir W. Batten’s Mungo, to tell me that his master and lady would have me come to their house through Sir J. Minnes’s lodgings, which I could not do; but, however, by ladders, did get over the pale between our yards, and so to their house, where I found them (as they have reason) to be much concerned for me, my lady especially.
The fellows staid in the yard swearing with one or two constables, and some time we locked them into the yard, and by and by let them out again, and so kept them all the afternoon, not letting them see me, or know where I was. One time I went up to the top of Sir W. Batten’s house, and out of one of their windows spoke to my wife out of one of ours; which methought, though I did it in mirth, yet I was sad to think what a sad thing it would be for me to be really in that condition. By and by comes Sir J. Minnes, who (like himself and all that he do) tells us that he can do no good, but that my Lord Chancellor wonders that we did not cause the seamen to fall about their ears: which we wished we could have done without our being seen in it; and Captain Grove being there, he did give them some affront, and would have got some seamen to have drubbed them, but he had not time, nor did we think it fit to have done it, they having executed their commission; but there was occasion given that he did draw upon one of them and he did complain that Grove had pricked him in the breast, but no hurt done; but I see that Grove would have done our business to them if we had bid him. By and by comes Mr. Clerke, our solicitor, who brings us a release from our adverse atturney, we paying the fees of the commission, which comes to five marks, and pay the charges of these fellows, which are called the commissioners, but are the most rake-shamed rogues that ever I saw in my life; so he showed them this release, and they seemed satisfied, and went away with him to their atturney to be paid by him. But before they went, Sir W. Batten and my lady did begin to taunt them, but the rogues answered them as high as themselves, and swore they would come again, and called me rogue and rebel, and they would bring the sheriff and untile his house, before he should harbour a rebel in his house, and that they would be here again shortly.
Well, at last they went away, and I by advice took occasion to go abroad, and walked through the street to show myself among the neighbours, that they might not think worse than the business is. Being met by Captn. Taylor and Bowry, whose ship we have hired for Tangier, they walked along with me to Cornhill talking about their business, and after some difference about their prices we agreed, and so they would have me to a tavern, and there I drank one glass of wine and discoursed of something about freight of a ship that may bring me a little money, and so broke up, and I home to Sir W. Batten’s again, where Sir J. Lawson, Captain Allen, Spragg, and several others, and all our discourse about the disgrace done to our office to be liable to this trouble, which we must get removed.
Hither comes Mr. Clerke by and by, and tells me that he hath paid the fees of the Court for the commission; but the men are not contented with under 5l. for their charges, which he will not give them, and therefore advises me not to stir abroad till Monday that he comes or sends to me again, whereby I shall not be able to go to White Hall to the Duke of York, as I ought.
Here I staid vexing, and yet pleased to see every body, man and woman, my Lady and Mrs. Turner especially, for me, till 10 at night; and so home, where my people are mightily surprized to see this business, but it troubles me not very much, it being nothing touching my particular person or estate.
Being in talk to-day with Sir W. Batten he tells me that little is done yet in the Parliament-house, but only this day it was moved and ordered that all the members of the House do subscribe to the renouncing of the Covenant, which is thought will try some of them.
There is also a bill brought in for the wearing of nothing but cloth or stuffs of our own manufacture, and is likely to be passed.
Among other talk this evening, my lady did speak concerning Commissioner Pett’s calling the present King bastard, and other high words heretofore; and Sir W. Batten did tell us, that he did give the Duke or Mr. Coventry an account of that and other like matters in writing under oath, of which I was ashamed, and for which I was sorry, but I see there is an absolute hatred never to be altered there, and Sir J. Minnes, the old coxcomb, has got it by the end, which troubles me for the sake of the King’s service, though I do truly hate the expressions laid to him. To my office and set down this day’s journall, and so home with my mind out of order, though not very sad with it, but ashamed for myself something, and for the honour of the office much more. So home and to bed.

the office is a prison
we promise to go to

but I do not know
where I am with the sea

I walk the street to show myself
among neighbors

discourse of something
that may bring a little money

touch nothing but stuff
of our own manufacture

like writing in a journal
with no self


Erasure poem derived from The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Saturday 21 February 1662/63.

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