Biography of Robert Vyner 1st Baronet 1631-1688

1665 Great Plague of London

1667 Poll Bill

In 1631 Robert Vyner 1st Baronet was born to William Vyner (age 62).

On 28 Apr 1639 [his father] William Vyner (age 70) died.

In 1665 Robert Vyner 1st Baronet (age 34) and Mary Whitchurch Lady Vyner were married.

Pepy's Diary. 24 May 1665. So home to dinner, and after dinner Creed and I to Colvill's, thinking to shew him all the respect we could by obliging him in carrying him 5 tallys of £5000 to secure him for so much credit he has formerly given Povy (age 51) to Tangier, but he, like an impertinent fool, cavills at it, but most ignorantly that ever I heard man in my life. At last Mr. Viner (age 34) by chance comes, who I find a very moderate man, but could not persuade the fool to reason, but brought away the tallys again, and so vexed to my office, where late, and then home to my supper and to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Jun 1665. Thence to the Harp and Ball and to Westminster Hall [Map], where I visited "the flowers" in each place, and so met with Mr. Creed, and he and I to Mrs. Croft's to drink and did, but saw not her daughter Borroughes. I away home, and there dined and did business. In the afternoon went with my tallys, made a fair end with Colvill and Viner (age 34), delivering them £5000 tallys to each and very quietly had credit given me upon other tallys of Mr. Colvill for £2000 and good words for more, and of Mr. Viner (age 34) too.

Pepy's Diary. 08 Jun 1665. By and by comes Alderman Maynell and Mr. Viner (age 34), and there my Lord Treasurer (age 58) did intreat them to furnish me with money upon my tallys, Sir Philip Warwicke (age 55) before my Lord declaring the King's changing of the hand from Mr. Povy (age 51) to me, whom he called a very sober person, and one whom the Lord Treasurer (age 58) would owne in all things that I should concern myself with them in the business of money. They did at present declare they could not part with money at present. My Lord did press them very hard, and I hope upon their considering we shall get some of them.

Pepy's Diary. 21 Jul 1665. Up and abroad to the goldsmiths, to see what money I could get upon my present tallys upon the advance of the Excise, and I hope I shall get £10,000. I went also and had them entered at the Excise Office. Alderman Backewell (age 47) is at sea. Sir R. Viner (age 34) come to towne but this morning. So Colvill was the only man I could yet speak withal to get any money of. Met with Mr. Povy (age 51), and I with him and dined at the Custom House Taverne, there to talk of our Tangier business, and Stockedale and Hewet with us.

Pepy's Diary. 22 Jul 1665. So all the morning at the office, and after dinner, which was very late, I to Sir R. Viner's (age 34), by his invitation in the morning, and got near £5000 more accepted, and so from this day the whole, or near, £15,000, lies upon interest.

Pepy's Diary. 22 Jul 1665. As soon as up I among my goldsmiths, Sir Robert Viner (age 34) and Colvill, and there got £10,000 of my new tallys accepted, and so I made it my work to find out Mr. Mervin and sent for others to come with their Bills of Exchange, as Captain Hewett, &c., and sent for Mr. Jackson, but he was not in town.

Pepy's Diary. 28 Aug 1665. Up, and being ready I out to Mr. Colvill, the goldsmith's, having not for some days been in the streets; but now how few people I see, and those looking like people that had taken leave of the world. I there, and made even all accounts in the world between him and I, in a very good condition, and I would have done the like with Sir Robert Viner (age 34), but he is out of towne, the sicknesse being every where thereabouts. I to the Exchange [Map], and I think there was not fifty people upon it, and but few more like to be as they told me, Sir G. Smith (age 50) and others. Thus I think to take adieu to-day of the London streets, unless it be to go again to Viner's (age 34).

Pepy's Diary. 30 Aug 1665. Thence, as I intended, to Sir R. Viner's (age 34), and there found not Mr. Lewes ready for me, so I went forth and walked towards Moorefields [Map] to see (God forbid my presumption!) whether I could see any dead corps going to the grave; but, as God would have it, did not. But, Lord! how every body's looks, and discourse in the street is of death, and nothing else, and few people going up and down, that the towne is like a place distressed and forsaken. After one turne there back to Viner's (age 34), and there found my business ready for me, and evened all reckonings with them to this day to my great content.

Pepy's Diary. 07 Sep 1665. By and by to dinner, where his [his wife] lady I find yet handsome, but hath been a very handsome woman; now is old. Hath brought him near £100,000 and now he lives, no man in England in greater plenty, and commands both King and Council with his credit he gives them. Here was a fine lady a merchant's wife at dinner with us, and who should be here in the quality of a woman but Mrs. Worship's daughter, Dr. Clerke's niece, and after dinner Sir Robert (age 34) led us up to his Long gallery, very fine, above stairs (and better, or such, furniture I never did see), and there Mrs. Worship did give us three or four very good songs, and sings very neatly, to my great delight.

Pepy's Diary. 07 Sep 1665. Thence to Brainford, reading "The Villaine", a pretty good play, all the way. There a coach of Mr. Povy's (age 51) stood ready for me, and he at his house ready to come in, and so we together merrily to Swakely, Sir R. Viner's (age 34). A very pleasant place, bought by him of Sir James Harrington's (age 57) lady (age 48). He took us up and down with great respect, and showed us all his house and grounds; and it is a place not very moderne in the garden nor house, but the most uniforme in all that ever I saw; and some things to excess. Pretty to see over the screene of the hall (put up by Sir Mr. Harrington (age 57), a Long Parliamentman) the King's head, and my Lord of Essex (age 33) on one side, and Fairfax on the other; and upon the other side of the screene, the parson of the parish, and the lord of the manor and his sisters. The window-cases, door-cases, and chimnys of all the house are marble. He showed me a black boy that he had, that died of a consumption, and being dead, he caused him to be dried in an oven, and lies there entire in a box.

Pepy's Diary. 14 Sep 1665. Here my news was highly welcome, and I did wonder to see the 'Change [Map] so full, I believe 200 people; but not a man or merchant of any fashion, but plain men all. And Lord! to see how I did endeavour all I could to talk with as few as I could, there being now no observation of shutting up of houses infected, that to be sure we do converse and meet with people that have the plague upon them. I to Sir Robert Viner's (age 34), where my main business was about settling the business of Debusty's £5000 tallys, which I did for the present to enable me to have some money, and so home, buying some things for my wife in the way.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Sep 1665. Thence to the office, and there wrote a letter or two and dispatched a little business, and then to Captain Cocke's (age 48), where I find Mr. Temple, the fat blade, Sir Robert. Viner's (age 34) chief man. And we three and two companions of his in the evening by agreement took ship in the Bezan and the tide carried us no further than Woolwich, Kent [Map] about 8 at night, and so I on shore to my wife, and there to my great trouble find my wife out of order, and she took me downstairs and there alone did tell me her falling out with both her mayds and particularly Mary, and how Mary had to her teeth told her she would tell me of something that should stop her mouth and words of that sense. Which I suspect may be about Brown, but my wife prays me to call it to examination, and this, I being of myself jealous, do make me mightily out of temper, and seeing it not fit to enter into the dispute did passionately go away, thinking to go on board again. But when I come to the stairs I considered the Bezan would not go till the next ebb, and it was best to lie in a good bed and, it may be, get myself into a better humour by being with my wife. So I back again and to bed and having otherwise so many reasons to rejoice and hopes of good profit, besides considering the ill that trouble of mind and melancholly may in this sickly time bring a family into, and that if the difference were never so great, it is not a time to put away servants, I was resolved to salve up the business rather than stir in it, and so become pleasant with my wife and to bed, minding nothing of this difference.

Pepy's Diary. 15 Oct 1665. Anon we come to his house, and there I eat a bit, and so with fresh horses, his noble fine horses, the best confessedly in England, the King (age 35) having none such, he sent me to Sir Robert Viner's (age 34), whom I met coming just from church, and so after having spent half-an-hour almost looking upon the horses with some gentlemen that were in company, he and I into his garden to discourse of money, but none is to be had, he confessing himself in great straits, and I believe it. Having this answer, and that I could not get better, we fell to publique talke, and to think how the fleete and seamen will be paid, which he protests he do not think it possible to compass, as the world is now: no money got by trade, nor the persons that have it by them in the City to be come at. The Parliament, it seems, have voted the King (age 35) £1,250,000 at £50,000 per month, tax for the war; and voted to assist the King (age 35) against the Dutch, and all that shall adhere to them; and thanks to be given him for his care of the Duke of Yorke (age 32), which last is a very popular vote on the Duke's behalf. He tells me how the taxes of the last assessment, which should have been in good part gathered, are not yet laid, and that even in part of the City of London; and the Chimny-money comes almost to nothing, nor any thing else looked after.

Great Plague of London

Pepy's Diary. 14 Nov 1665. Called up by break of day by Captain Cocke (age 48), by agreement, and he and I in his coach through Kent-streete (a sad place through the plague, people sitting sicke and with plaisters about them in the street begging) to Viner's (age 34) and Colvill's about money business, and so to my house, and there I took £300 in order to the carrying it down to my Lord Sandwich (age 40) in part of the money I am to pay for Captain Cocke (age 48) by our agreement. So I took it down, and down I went to Greenwich, Kent [Map] to my office, and there sat busy till noon, and so home to dinner, and thence to the office again, and by and by to the Duke of Albemarle's (age 56) by water late, where I find he had remembered that I had appointed to come to him this day about money, which I excused not doing sooner; but I see, a dull fellow, as he is, do sometimes remember what another thinks he mindeth not. My business was about getting money of the East India Company; but, Lord! to see how the Duke himself magnifies himself in what he had done with the Company; and my Lord Craven (age 57) what the King (age 35) could have done without my Lord Duke, and a deale of stir, but most mightily what a brave fellow I am.

Pepy's Diary. 27 Nov 1665. So to Viner's (age 34), and there heard of Cocke (age 48), and found him at the Pope's Head, drinking with Temple. I to them, where the Goldsmiths do decry the new Act, for money to be all brought into the Exchequer, and paid out thence, saying they will not advance one farthing upon it; and indeed it is their interest to say and do so.

Pepy's Diary. 11 Dec 1665. Thence Cocke (age 48) and I by water, he home and I home, and there sat with Mr. Hill (age 35) and my wife supping, talking and singing till midnight, and then to bed1. (The passage between brackets is from a piece of paper inserted in this place.)

Note 1. That I may remember it the more particularly, I thought fit to insert this additional memorandum of Temple's discourse this night with me, which I took in writing from his mouth. Before the Harp and Crosse money was cried down, he and his fellow goldsmiths did make some particular trials what proportion that money bore to the old King's money, and they found that generally it come to, one with another, about £25 in every £100. Of this money there was, upon the calling of it in, £650,000 at least brought into the Tower; and from thence he computes that the whole money of England must be full £6,250,000. But for all this believes that there is above £30,000,000; he supposing that about the King's coming in (when he begun to observe the quantity of the new money) people begun to be fearfull of this money's being cried down, and so picked it out and set it a-going as fast as they could, to be rid of it; and he thinks £30,000,000 the rather, because if there were but £16,250,000 the King (age 35) having £2,000,000 every year, would have the whole money of the Kingdom in his hands in eight years. He tells me about £350,000 sterling was coined out of the French money, the proceeds of Dunkirke; so that, with what was coined of the Crosse money, there is new coined about £1,000,000 besides the gold, which is guessed at £500,000. He tells me, that, though the King (age 35) did deposit the French money in pawn all the while for the £350,000 he was forced to borrow thereupon till the tools could be made for the new Minting in the present form, yet the interest he paid for that time came to £35,000, Viner (age 34) having to his knowledge £10,000 for the use of £100,000 of it.

Pepy's Diary. 11 Dec 1665. After dinner I took him aside, and perfected to my great joy my business with him, wherein he deals most nobly in giving me his hand for the £4,000, and would take my note but for £3500. This is a great blessing, and God make me thankfull truly for it. With him till it was darke putting in writing our discourse about victualling, and so parted, and I to Viner's (age 34), and there evened all accounts, and took up my notes setting all straight between us to this day. The like to Colvill, and paying several bills due from me on the Tangier account.

Pepy's Diary. 20 Dec 1665. After dinner I to the Exchange [Map] to see whether my pretty seamstress be come again or no, and I find she is, so I to her, saluted her over her counter in the open Exchange [Map] above, and mightily joyed to see her, poor pretty woman! I must confess I think her a great beauty. After laying out a little money there for two pair of thread stockings, cost 8s., I to Lombard Street [Map] to see some business to-night there at the goldsmith's, among others paying in £1258 to Viner (age 34) for my Lord Sandwich's (age 40) use upon Cocke's (age 48) account.

In 1666 Robert Vyner 1st Baronet (age 35) was created 1st Baronet Vyner of London. [his wife] Mary Whitchurch Lady Vyner by marriage Lady Vyner of London.

Pepy's Diary. 11 Jan 1666. Up and to the office. By and by to the Custome House to the Farmers, there with a letter of Sir G. Carteret's (age 56) for £3000, which they ordered to be paid me. So away back again to the office, and at noon to dinner all of us by invitation to Sir W. Pen's (age 44), and much other company. Among others, Lieutenant of the Tower (age 51), and Broome, his poet, and Dr. Whistler, and his (Sir W. Pen's (age 44)) son-in-law Lowder (age 25), servant [lover] to Mrs. Margaret Pen, and Sir Edward Spragg (age 46), a merry man, that sang a pleasant song pleasantly. Rose from table before half dined, and with Mr. Mountney of the Custome House to the East India House, and there delivered to him tallys for £3000 and received a note for the money on Sir R. Viner (age 35).

Pepy's Diary. 31 Jan 1666. By and by to the 'Change [Map], and there did several businesses, among others brought home my cozen Pepys, whom I appointed to be here to-day, and Mr. Moore met us upon the business of my Lord's bond. Seeing my neighbour Mr. Knightly walk alone from the 'Change [Map], his family being not yet come to town, I did invite him home with me, and he dined with me, a very sober, pretty man he is. He is mighty solicitous, as I find many about the City that live near the churchyards, to have the churchyards covered with lime, and I think it is needfull, and ours I hope will be done. Good pleasant discourse at dinner of the practices of merchants to cheate the "Customers", occasioned by Mr. Moore's being with much trouble freed of his prize goods, which he bought, which fell into the Customers' hands, and with much ado hath cleared them. Mr. Knightly being gone, my cozen Pepys and Moore and I to our business, being the clearing of my Lord Sandwich's (age 40) bond wherein I am bound with him to my cozen for £1000 I have at last by my dexterity got my Lord's consent to have it paid out of the money raised by his prizes. So the bond is cancelled, and he paid by having a note upon Sir Robert Viner (age 35), in whose hands I had lodged my Lord's money, by which I am to my extraordinary comfort eased of a liablenesse to pay the sum in case of my Lord's death, or troubles in estate, or my Lord's greater fall, which God defend! Having settled this matter at Sir R. Viner's (age 35), I took up Mr. Moore (my cozen going home) and to my Chancellor's (age 56) new house which he is building, only to view it, hearing so much from Mr. Evelyn (age 45) of it; and, indeed, it is the finest pile I ever did see in my life, and will be a glorious house.

Pepy's Diary. 01 Feb 1666. So evened to this day, and thence to Sir Robert Viner's (age 35), where I did the like, leaving clear in his hands just £2000 of my owne money, to be called for when I pleased. Having done all this I home, and there to the office, did my business there by the post and so home, and spent till one in the morning in my chamber to set right all my money matters, and so to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 06 Feb 1666. After that to our Navy business, where my fellow officers were called in, and did that also very well, and then broke up, and I home by coach, Tooker with me, and staid in Lombard Street [Map] at Viner's (age 35), and sent home for the plate which my wife and I had a mind to change, and there changed it, about £50 worth, into things more usefull, whereby we shall now have a very handsome cupboard of plate.

Pepy's Diary. 08 Feb 1666. Up, and all the morning at the office. At noon to the 'Change [Map], expecting to have received from Mr. Houbland, as he promised me, an assignment upon Viner (age 35), for my reward for my getting them the going of their two ships to Tangier, but I find myself much disappointed therein, for I spoke with him and he said nothing of it, but looked coldly, through some disturbance he meets with in our business through Colonell Norwood's (age 52) pressing them to carry more goods than will leave room for some of their own. But I shall ease them.

Pepy's Diary. 05 Mar 1666. They being gone I forth late to Sir H. Viner's (age 35) to take a receipt of them for the £200 lodged for me there with them, and so back home, and after supper to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 28 Mar 1666. At noon dined and then out to Lombard Street [Map], to look after the getting of some money that is lodged there of mine in Viner's (age 35) hands, I having no mind to have it lie there longer.

Pepy's Diary. 05 Apr 1666. Up, and before office time to Lombard Street [Map], and there at Viner's (age 35) was shewn the silver plates, made for Captain Cocke (age 49) to present my Lord Bruncker (age 46); and I chose a dozen of the same weight to be bespoke for myself, which he told me yesterday he would give me on the same occasion.

Pepy's Diary. 21 Jun 1666. After dinner to Mr. Debasty's to speake with Sir Robert Viner (age 35), a fine house and a great many fine ladies. He used me mighty civilly. My business was to set the matter right about the letter of credit he did give my Lord Belassis (age 51), that I may take up the tallys lodged with Viner (age 35) for his security in the answering of my Lord's bills, which we did set right very well, and Sir Robert Viner (age 35) went home with me and did give me the £5000 tallys presently. Here at Mr. Debasty's I saw, in a gold frame, a picture of a Outer playing on his flute which, for a good while, I took for paynting, but at last observed it a piece of tapestry, and is the finest that ever I saw in my life for figures, and good natural colours, and a very fine thing it is indeed.

Pepy's Diary. 28 Jun 1666. Up, and at the office all the morning. At noon home to dinner, and after dinner abroad to Lombard Street [Map], there to reckon with Sir Robert Viner (age 35) for some money, and did sett all straight to my great content, and so home, and all the afternoon and evening at the office, my mind full at this time of getting my accounts over, and as much money in my hands as I can, for a great turne is to be feared in the times, the French having some great design (whatever it is) in hand, and our necessities on every side very great. The Dutch are now known to be out, and we may expect them every houre upon our coast. But our fleete is in pretty good readinesse for them.

Pepy's Diary. 11 Jul 1666. Thence to Westminster Hall [Map] and there staid a while, and then to the Swan [Map] and kissed Sarah, and so home to dinner, and after dinner out again to Sir Robert Viner (age 35), and there did agree with him to accommodate some business of tallys so as I shall get in near £2000 into my own hands, which is in the King's, upon tallys; which will be a pleasure to me, and satisfaction to have a good sum in my own hands, whatever evil disturbances should be in the State; though it troubles me to lose so great a profit as the King's interest of ten per cent. for that money.

Pepy's Diary. 13 Jul 1666. Lay sleepy in bed till 8 in the morning, then up and to the office, where till about noon, then out to the 'Change [Map] and several places, and so home to dinner. Then out again to Sir R. Viner (age 35), and there to my content settled the business of two tallys, so as I shall have £2000 almost more of my owne money in my hand, which pleases me mightily, and so home and there to the office, where mighty busy, and then home to supper and to even my Journall and to bed. Our fleete being now in all points ready to sayle, but for the carrying of the two or three new ships, which will keepe them a day or two or three more. It is said the Dutch is gone off our coast, but I have no good reason to believe it, Sir W. Coventry (age 38) not thinking any such thing.

Pepy's Diary. 15 Oct 1666. Called up, though a very rainy morning, by Sir H. Cholmley (age 34), and he and I most of the morning together evening of accounts, which I was very glad of. Then he and I out to Sir Robt. Viner's (age 35), at the African House (where I had not been since he come thither); but he was not there; but I did some business with his people, and then to Colvill's, who, I find, lives now in Lyme Streete [Map], and with the same credit as ever, this fire having not done them any wrong that I hear of at all.

Pepy's Diary. 17 Oct 1666. Thence to St. James's by coach, and spoke, at four o'clock or five, with Sir W. Coventry (age 38), newly come from the House, where they have sat all this day and not come to an end of the debate how the money shall be raised. He tells me that what I proposed to him the other day was what he had himself thought on and determined, and that he believes it will speedily be done-the making Sir J. Minnes (age 67) a Commissioner, and bringing somebody else to be Comptroller, and that (which do not please me, I confess, for my own particulars, so well as Sir J. Minnes (age 67)) will, I fear, be Sir W. Pen (age 45), for he is the only fit man for it. Away from him and took up my wife, and left her at Temple Bar to buy some lace for a petticoat, and I took coach and away to Sir R. Viner's (age 35) about a little business, and then home, and by and by to my chamber, and there late upon making up an account for the Board to pass to-morrow, if I can get them, for the clearing all my imprest bills, which if I can do, will be to my very good satisfaction. Having done this, then to supper and to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 19 Oct 1666. After a little more discourse, I left them, and to White Hall, where I met with Sir Robert Viner (age 35), who told me a little of what, in going home, I had seen; also a little of the disorder and mutiny among the seamen at the Treasurer's office, which did trouble me then and all day since, considering how many more seamen will come to towne every day, and no money for them. A Parliament sitting, and the Exchange [Map] close by, and an enemy to hear of, and laugh at it1. Viner (age 35) too, and Backewell, were sent for this afternoon; and was before the King (age 36) and his Cabinet about money; they declaring they would advance no more, it being discoursed of in the House of Parliament for the King (age 36) to issue out his privy-seals to them to command them to trust him, which gives them reason to decline trusting. But more money they are persuaded to lend, but so little that (with horrour I speake it), coming after the Council was up, with Sir G. Carteret (age 56), Sir W. Coventry (age 38), Lord Bruncker (age 46), and myself, I did lay the state of our condition before the Duke of York (age 33), that the fleete could not go out without several things it wanted, and we could not have without money, particularly rum and bread, which we have promised the man Swan to helpe him to £200 of his debt, and a few other small sums of £200 a piece to some others, and that I do foresee the Duke of York (age 33) would call us to an account why the fleete is not abroad, and we cannot answer otherwise than our want of money; and that indeed we do not do the King (age 36) any service now, but do rather abuse and betray his service by being there, and seeming to do something, while we do not. Sir G. Carteret (age 56) asked me (just in these words, for in this and all the rest I set down the very words for memory sake, if there should be occasion) whether £50 or £60 would do us any good; and when I told him the very rum man must have £200, he held up his eyes as if we had asked a million. Sir W. Coventry (age 38) told the Duke of York (age 33) plainly he did rather desire to have his commission called in than serve in so ill a place, where he cannot do the King (age 36) service, and I did concur in saying the same. This was all very plain, and the Duke of York (age 33) did confess that he did not see how we could do anything without a present supply of £20,000, and that he would speak to the King (age 36) next Council day, and I promised to wait on him to put him in mind of it. This I set down for my future justification, if need be, and so we broke up, and all parted, Sir W. Coventry (age 38) being not very well, but I believe made much worse by this night's sad discourse. So I home by coach, considering what the consequence of all this must be in a little time. Nothing but distraction and confusion; which makes me wish with all my heart that I were well and quietly settled with what little I have got at Brampton, where I might live peaceably, and study, and pray for the good of the King (age 36) and my country.

Note 1. The King of Denmark (age 57) was induced to conclude a treaty with the United Provinces, a secret article of which bound him to declare war against England. The order in council for the printing and publishing a declaration of war against Denmark is dated "Whitehall, Sept. 19, 1666"; annexed is "A True Declaration of all transactions between his Majesty of Great Britain and the King of Denmark, with a declaration of war against the said king, and the motives that obliged his Majesty thereunto" (Calendar of State Papers, 1666-67, p. 140).

Pepy's Diary. 24 Oct 1666. Thence to Westminster Hall [Map], where the term is begun, and I did take a turn or two, and so away by coach to Sir R. Viner's (age 35), and there received some money, and then home and to dinner.

Pepy's Diary. 12 Nov 1666. Home to dinner, though Sir R. Viner (age 35) would have staid us to dine with him, he being sheriffe; but, poor man, was so out of countenance that he had no wine ready to drink to us, his butler being out of the way, though we know him to be a very liberal man. And after dinner I took my wife out, intending to have gone and have seen my Lady Jemimah, at White Hall, but so great a stop there was at the New Exchange, that we could not pass in half an houre, and therefore 'light and bought a little matter at the Exchange [Map], and then home, and then at the office awhile, and then home to my chamber, and after my wife and all the mayds abed but Jane, whom I put confidence in-she and I, and my brother, and Tom, and W. Hewer (age 24), did bring up all the remainder of my money, and my plate-chest, out of the cellar, and placed the money in my study, with the rest, and the plate in my dressing-room; but indeed I am in great pain to think how to dispose of my money, it being wholly unsafe to keep it all in coin in one place. 'But now I have it all at my hand, I shall remember it better to think of disposing of it. This done, by one in the morning to bed. This afternoon going towards Westminster, Creed and I did stop, the Duke of York (age 33) being just going away from seeing of it, at Paul's, and in the Convocation House Yard did there see the body of Robert Braybrooke, Bishop of London, that died 1404: He fell down in his tomb out of the great church into St. Fayth's [Map] this late fire, and is here seen his skeleton with the flesh on; but all tough and dry like a spongy dry leather, or touchwood all upon his bones. His head turned aside. A great man in his time, and Lord Chancellor, and his skeletons now exposed to be handled and derided by some, though admired for its duration by others. Many flocking to see it.

Pepy's Diary. 12 Nov 1666. That done I to the office; whither by and by comes Creed to me, and he and I walked in the garden a little, talking of the present ill condition of things, which is the common subject of all men's discourse and fears now-a-days, and particularly of my Lady Denham (age 26), whom everybody says is poisoned, and he tells me she hath said it to the Duke of York (age 33); but is upon the mending hand, though the town says she is dead this morning. He and I to the 'Change [Map]. There I had several little errands, and going to Sir R. Viner's (age 35), I did get such a splash and spots of dirt upon my new vest, that I was out of countenance to be seen in the street. This day I received 450 pieces of gold more of Mr. Stokes, but cost me 22 1/2d. change; but I am well contented with it,-I having now near £2800 in gold, and will not rest till I get full £3000, and then will venture my fortune for the saving that and the rest.

Pepy's Diary. 13 Dec 1666. Up, and to the office, where we sat. At noon to the 'Change [Map] and there met Captain Cocke (age 49), and had a second time his direction to bespeak £100 of plate, which I did at Sir R. Viner's (age 35), being twelve plates more, and something else I have to choose.

Pepy's Diary. 15 Dec 1666. Thence away to Sir R. Viner's (age 35), and there chose some plate besides twelve plates which I purpose to have with Captain Cocke's (age 49) gift of £100, and so home and there busy late, and then home and to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 18 Dec 1666. So to Sir Robert Viner's (age 35) about my plate, and carried home another dozen of plates, which makes my stock of plates up 2 1/2 dozen, and at home find Mr. Thomas Andrews (age 34), with whom I staid and talked a little and invited him to dine with me at Christmas, and then I to the office, and there late doing business, and so home and to bed. Sorry for poor Batters.

Pepy's Diary. 19 Dec 1666. Thence home, and upon Tower Hill [Map] saw about 3 or 400 seamen get together; and one, standing upon a pile of bricks, made his sign, with his handkercher, upon his stick, and called all the rest to him, and several shouts they gave. This made me afeard; so I got home as fast as I could. And hearing of no present hurt did go to Sir Robert Viner's (age 35) about my plate again, and coming home do hear of 1000 seamen said in the streets to be in armes. So in great fear home, expecting to find a tumult about my house, and was doubtful of my riches there. But I thank God I found all well.

Pepy's Diary. 24 Dec 1666. Thence to Sir Robert Viner's (age 35), and there paid for the plate I have bought to the value of £94, with the £100 Captain Cocke (age 49) did give me to that purpose, and received the rest in money. I this evening did buy me a pair of green spectacles, to see whether they will help my eyes or no.

Pepy's Diary. 31 Jan 1667. So home and to the office, and late home to supper, and to talk with my wife, with pleasure, and to bed. I met this evening at Sir R. Viner's (age 36) our Mr. Turner, who I find in a melancholy condition about his being removed out of his house, but I find him so silly and so false that I dare not tell how to trust any advice to him, and therefore did speak only generally to him, but I doubt his condition is very miserable, and do pity his family.

Pepy's Diary. 31 Jan 1667. In the evening stept out to Sir Robert Viner's (age 36) to get the money ready upon my notes to D. Gawden, and there hear that Mr. Temple is very ill. I met on the 'Change [Map] with Captain Cocke (age 50), who tells me that he hears new certainty of the business of Madrid, how our Embassador and the French met, and says that two or three of my Lord's men, and twenty one of the French men are killed, but nothing at Court of it. He fears the next year's service through the badness of our counsels at White Hall, but that if they were wise, and the King (age 36) would mind his business, he might do what he would yet. The Parliament is not yet up, being finishing some bills.

Poll Bill

Pepy's Diary. 20 Feb 1667. Thence to the Exchequer, and there find the people in readiness to dispatch my tallies to-day, though Ash Wednesday. So I back by coach to London to Sir Robt. Viner's (age 36) and there got £100, and come away with it and pay my fees round, and so away with the 'Chequer men to the Leg in King Street, and there had wine for them; and here was one in company with them, that was the man that got the vessel to carry over the King (age 36) from Bredhemson, who hath a pension of 200 per annum, but ill paid, and the man is looking after getting of a prizeship to live by; but the trouble is, that this poor man, who hath received no part of his money these four years, and is ready to starve almost, must yet pay to the Poll Bill for this pension. He told me several particulars of the King's coming thither, which was mighty pleasant, and shews how mean a thing a king is, how subject to fall, and how like other men he is in his afflictions.

Pepy's Diary. 06 May 1667. So home to dinner, where Creed come, whom I vexed devilishly with telling him a wise man, and good friend of his and mine, did say that he lately went into the country to Hinchingbroke [Map]; and, at his coming to town again, hath shifted his lodgings, only to avoid paying to the Poll Bill, which is so true that he blushed, and could not in words deny it, but the fellow did think to have not had it discovered. He is so devilish a subtle false rogue, that I am really weary and afeard of his company, and therefore after dinner left him in the house, and to my office, where busy all the afternoon despatching much business, and in the evening to Sir R. Viner's (age 36) to adjust accounts there, and so home, where some of our old Navy creditors come to me by my direction to consider of what I have invented for their help as I have said in the morning, and like it mighty well, and so I to the office, where busy late, then home to supper and sing with my wife, who do begin to give me real pleasure with her singing, and so to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 24 Feb 1667. By and by comes Sir Robert Viner (age 36) and my Lord Mayor to ask the King's directions about measuring out the streets according to the new Act for building of the City, wherein the King (age 36) is to be pleased1. But he says that the way proposed in Parliament, by Colonel Birch (age 51), would have been the best, to have chosen some persons in trust, and sold the whole ground, and let it be sold again by them, with preference to the old owner, which would have certainly caused the City to be built where these Trustees pleased; whereas now, great differences will be, and the streets built by fits, and not entire till all differences be decided. This, as he tells it, I think would have been the best way. I enquired about the Frenchman2 that was said to fire the City, and was hanged for it, by his own confession, that he was hired for it by a Frenchman of Roane, and that he did with a stick reach in a fire-ball in at a window of the house: whereas the master of the house, who is the King's baker, and his son, and daughter, do all swear there was no such window, and that the fire did not begin thereabouts. Yet the fellow, who, though a mopish besotted fellow, did not speak like a madman, did swear that he did fire it: and did not this like a madman; for, being tried on purpose, and landed with his keeper at the Tower Wharfe [Map], he could carry the keeper to the very house. Asking Sir R. Viner (age 36) what he thought was the cause of the fire, he tells me, that the baker, son, and his daughter, did all swear again and again, that their oven was drawn by ten o'clock at night; that, having occasion to light a candle about twelve, there was not so much fire in the bakehouse as to light a match for a candle, so that they were fain to go into another place to light it; that about two in the morning they felt themselves almost choked with smoke, and rising, did find the fire coming upstairs; so they rose to save themselves; but that, at that time, the bavins3 were not on fire in the yard. So that they are, as they swear, in absolute ignorance how this fire should come; which is a strange thing, that so horrid an effect should have so mean and uncertain a beginning.

Note 1. See Sir Christopher Wren's (age 43) "Proposals for rebuilding the City of London after the great fire, with an engraved Plan of the principal Streets and Public Buildings", in Elmes's "Memoirs of Sir Christopher Wren", Appendix, p.61. The originals are in All Souls' College Library, Oxford. B.

Note 2. "One Hubert, a French papist, was seized in Essex, as he was getting out of the way in great confusion. He confessed he had begun the fire, and persisted in his confession to his death, for he was hanged upon no other evidence but that of his own confession. It is true he gave so broken an account of the whole matter that he was thought mad. Yet he was blindfolded, and carried to several places of the city, and then his eyes being opened, he was asked if that was the place, and he being carried to wrong places, after he looked round about for some time, he said that was not the place, but when he was brought to the place where it first broke out, he affirmed that was the true place. "Burnet's Own Time", book ii. Archbishop Tillotson (age 36), according to Burnet, believed that London was burnt by design.

Note 3. brushwood, or faggots used for lighting fires.

Pepy's Diary. 28 Feb 1667. At noon to the Exchange [Map] and to Sir Rob. Viner's (age 36) about settling my accounts there.

Pepy's Diary. 07 Mar 1667. Thence home late, and find my wife hath dined, and she and Mrs. Hewer going to a play. Here was Creed, and he and I to Devonshire House, to a burial of a kinsman of Sir R. Viner's (age 36); and there I received a ring, and so away presently to Creed, who staid for me at an alehouse hard by, and thence to the Duke's playhouse, where he parted, and I in and find my wife and Mrs. Hewer, and sat by them and saw "The English Princesse, or Richard the Third"; a most sad, melancholy play, and pretty good; but nothing eminent in it, as some tragedys are; only little Mis. Davis did dance a jig after the end of the play, and there telling the next day's play; so that it come in by force only to please the company to see her dance in boy's 'clothes; and, the truth is, there is no comparison between Nell's (age 17) dancing the other day at the King's house in boy's clothes and this, this being infinitely beyond the other. Mere was Mr. Clerke and Pierce, to whom one word only of "How do you", and so away home, Mrs. Hewer with us, and I to the office and so to Sir W. Batten's (age 66), and there talked privately with him and Sir W. Pen (age 45) about business of Carcasse against tomorrow, wherein I think I did give them proof enough of my ability as well as friendship to Sir W. Batten (age 66), and the honour of the office, in my sense of the rogue's business.

Pepy's Diary. 22 Mar 1667. So to White Hall, where the King (age 36) at Chapel, and I would not stay, but to Westminster to Howlett's, and there, he being not well, I sent for a quart of claret and burnt it and drank, and had a 'basado' or three or four of Sarah, whom 'je trouve ici', and so by coach to Sir Robt. Viner's (age 36) about my accounts with him, and so to the 'Change [Map], where I hear for certain that we are going on with our treaty of peace, and that we are to treat at Bredah. But this our condescension people do think will undo us, and I do much fear it.

Pepy's Diary. 05 Apr 1667. So to Westminster Hall [Map], and there bought a pair of snuffers, and saw Mrs. Howlett after her sickness come to the Hall again. So by coach to the New Exchange and Mercer's and other places to take up bills for what I owe them, and to Mrs. Pierce, to invite her to dinner with us on Monday, but staid not with her. In the street met with Mr. Sanchy, my old acquaintance at Cambridge, reckoned a great minister here in the City; and by Sir Richard Ford (age 53) particularly, which I wonder at; for methinks, in his talk, he is but a mean man. I set him down in Holborne, and I to the Old Exchange [Map], and there to Sir Robert Viner's (age 36), and made up my accounts there, to my great content; but I find they do not keep them so regularly as, to be able to do it easily, and truly, and readily, nor would it have been easily stated by any body on my behalf but myself, several things being to be recalled to memory, which nobody else could have done, and therefore it is fully necessary for me to even accounts with these people as often as I can.

Pepy's Diary. 17 Apr 1667. Thence by coach to Sir G. Carteret's (age 57), in London, there to pass some accounts of his, and at it till dinner, and then to work again a little, and then go away, and my wife being sent for by me to the New Exchange I took her up, and there to the King's playhouse (at the door met with W. Joyce in the street, who come to our coach side, but we in haste took no notice of him, for which I was sorry afterwards, though I love not the fellow, yet for his wife's sake), and saw a piece of "Rollo", a play I like not much, but much good acting in it: the house very empty. So away home, and I a little to the office, and then to Sir Robert Viner's (age 36), and so back, and find my wife gone down by water to take a little ayre, and I to my chamber and there spent the night in reading my new book, "Origines Juridiciales", which pleases me.

Pepy's Diary. 25 Apr 1667. Thence away, Sir W. Pen (age 46) and I and Mr. Lewes, who come hither after us, and Mr. Gawden in the last man's coach. Set me down by the Poultry, and I to Sir Robert Viner's (age 36), and there had my account stated and took it home to review.

Pepy's Diary. 01 May 1667. Thence away to the King's playhouse, by agreement met Sir W. Pen (age 46), and saw "Love in a Maze" but a sorry play: only Lacy's (age 52) clowne's part, which he did most admirably indeed; and I am glad to find the rogue at liberty again. Here was but little, and that ordinary, company. We sat at the upper bench next the boxes; and I find it do pretty well, and have the advantage of seeing and hearing the great people, which may be pleasant when there is good store. Now was only Prince Rupert (age 47) and my Lord Lauderdale (age 50), and my Lord, the naming of whom puts me in mind of my seeing, at Sir Robert Viner's (age 36), two or three great silver flagons, made with inscriptions as gifts of the King (age 36) to such and such persons of quality as did stay in town the late great plague, for the keeping things in order in the town, which is a handsome thing. But here was neither Hart (age 41), Nell (age 17), nor Knipp; therefore, the play was not likely to please me.

Pepy's Diary. 08 May 1667. After dinner, he gone, I to the office, where all the afternoon very busy, and so in the evening to Sir R. Viner's (age 36), thinking to finish my accounts there, but am prevented, and so back again home, and late at my office at business, and so home to supper and sing a little with my dear wife, and so to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 10 May 1667. So to the office again, very busy, and in the evening to Sir Robert Viner's (age 36), and there took up all my notes and evened our balance to the 7th of this month, and saw it entered in their ledger, and took a receipt for the remainder of my money as the balance of an account then adjusted.

Pepy's Diary. 17 May 1667. Then to Sir R. Viner's (age 36) with 600 pieces of gold to turn into silver, for the enabling me to answer Sir G. Carteret's (age 57) £3000; which he now draws all out of my hand towards the paying for a purchase he hath made for his son and my Lady Jemimah, in Northamptonshire, of Sir Samuel Luke (age 64), in a good place; a good house, and near all her friends; which is a very happy thing.

Pepy's Diary. 23 May 1667. So to the office, and then to Sir R. Viner's (age 36) about some part of my accounts now going on with him, and then home and ended my letters, and then to supper and my chamber to settle many things there, and then to bed. This noon I was on the 'Change [Map], where I to my astonishment hear, and it is in the Gazette, that Sir John Duncomb (age 44) is sworn yesterday a Privy-councillor.

Pepy's Diary. 14 Jun 1667. At dinner we discoursed of Tom of the Wood, a fellow that lives like a hermit near Woolwich, Kent [Map], who, as they say, and Mr. Bodham, they tell me, affirms that he was by at the justice's when some did accuse him there for it, did foretell the burning of the City, and now says that a greater desolation is at hand. Thence we read and laughed at Lilly's prophecies this month, in his Almanack this year! So to the office after dinner; and thither comes Mr. Pierce, who tells me his condition, how he cannot get his money, about £500, which, he says, is a very great part of what he hath for his family and children, out of Viner's (age 36) hand: and indeed it is to be feared that this will wholly undo the bankers. He says he knows nothing of the late affronts to my Chancellor's (age 58) house, as is said, nor hears of the Duke of Albemarle's (age 58) being made High Constable; but says that they are in great distraction at White Hall, and that every where people do speak high against Sir W. Coventry (age 39): but he agrees with me, that he is the best Minister of State the King (age 37) hath, and so from my heart I believe.

Pepy's Diary. 17 Jun 1667. At night comes Captain Cocke (age 50) to see me, and he and I an hour in the garden together. He tells me there have been great endeavours of bringing in the Presbyterian interest, but that it will not do. He named to me several of the insipid lords that are to command the armies that are to be raised. He says the King (age 37) and Court are all troubled, and the gates of the Court were shut up upon the first coming of the Dutch to us, but they do mind the business no more than ever: that the bankers, he fears, are broke as to ready-money, though Viner (age 36) had £100,000 by him when our trouble begun: that he and the Duke of Albemarle (age 58) have received into their own hands, of Viner (age 36), the former £10,000, and the latter £12,000, in tallies or assignments, to secure what was in his hands of theirs; and many other great men of our. masters have done the like; which is no good sign, when they begin to fear the main. He and every body cries out of the office of the Ordnance, for their neglects, both at Gravesend, Kent [Map] and Upnor [Map], and everywhere else.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Aug 1667. By and by comes newes that my Lady Viner (age 36) was come to see Mrs. Lowther, which I was glad of, and all the pleasure I had here was to see her, which I did, and saluted her, and find she is pretty, though not so eminently so as people talked of her, and of very pretty carriage and discourse. I sat with them and her an hour talking and pleasant, and then slunk away alone without taking leave, leaving my wife there to come home with them, and I to Bartholomew fayre, to walk up and down; and there, among other things, find my Baroness Castlemayne (age 26) at a puppet-play, "Patient Grizill"1, and the street full of people expecting her coming out. I confess I did wonder at her courage to come abroad, thinking the people would abuse her; but they, silly people! do not know her work she makes, and therefore suffered her with great respect to take coach, and she away, without any trouble at all, which I wondered at, I confess. I only walked up and down, and, among others, saw Tom Pepys, the turner, who hath a shop, and I think lives in the fair when the fair is not. I only asked how he did as he stood in the street, and so up and down sauntering till late and then home, and there discoursed with my wife of our bad entertainment to-day, and so to bed. I met Captain Cocke (age 50) to-day at the Council Chamber and took him with me to Westminster, who tells me that there is yet expectation that the Chancellor (age 58) will lose the Seal, and that he is sure that the King (age 37) hath said it to him who told it him, and he fears we shall be soon broke in pieces, and assures me that there have been high words between the Duke of York (age 33) and Sir W. Coventry (age 39), for his being so high against the Chancellor (age 58); so as the Duke of York (age 33) would not sign some papers that he brought, saying that he could not endure the sight of him: and that Sir W. Coventry (age 39) answered, that what he did was in obedience to the King's commands; and that he did not think any man fit to serve a Prince, that did not know how to retire and live a country life. This is all I hear.

Note 1. The well-known story, first told by Boccaccio, then by Petrarca, afterwards by Chaucer, and which has since become proverbial. Tom Warton, writing about 1770, says, "I need not mention that it is to this day represented in England, on a stage of the lowest species, and of the highest antiquity: I mean at a puppet show" ("Hist. of English Poetry", sect. xv.). B.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Dec 1667. After dinner I did even with Sir G. Carteret (age 57) the accounts of the interest of the money which I did so long put out for him in Sir R. Viner's (age 36) hands, and by it I think I shall be a gainer about £28, which is a very good reward for the little trouble I have had in it.

In 1674 [his wife] Mary Whitchurch Lady Vyner died.

Evelyn's Diary. 19 Jun 1679. I dined at Sir Robert Clayton's (age 50) with Sir Robert Viner (age 48), the great banker.

On 02 Sep 1688 Robert Vyner 1st Baronet (age 57) died at Windsor, Berkshire [Map]. Baronet Vyner of London extinct.

Before 1694 John Michael Wright (age 76). Portrait of Robert Vyner 1st Baronet and [his former wife] Mary Whitchurch Lady Vyner and their children.

Ancestors of Robert Vyner 1st Baronet 1631-1688

GrandFather: Thomas Vyner

Father: William Vyner

Robert Vyner 1st Baronet