Biography of George Boreman

Pepy's Diary. 19 Sep 1665. But by and by my Lord Bruncker (age 45) goes away and others of the company, and when I expected Sir J. Minnes (age 66) and his sister should have staid to have made Sir W. Batten (age 64) and Lady sup, I find they go up in snuffe to bed without taking any manner of leave of them, but left them with Mr. Boreman. The reason of this I could not presently learn, but anon I hear it is that Sir J. Minnes (age 66) did expect and intend them a supper, but they without respect to him did first apply themselves to Boreman, which makes all this great feude.

Pepy's Diary. 22 Sep 1665. Though at last afterwards I found that he was not in this faulty, but hereby I have got a clear evidence of my Lord Bruncker's (age 45) opinion of him. My Lord Bruncker (age 45) presently ordered his coach to be ready and we to Woolwich, Kent [Map], and my Lord Sandwich (age 40) not being come, we took a boat and about a mile off met him in his Catch, and boarded him, and come up with him; and, after making a little halt at my house, which I ordered, to have my wife see him, we all together by coach to Mr. Boreman's, where Sir J. Minnes (age 66) did receive him very handsomely, and there he is to lie; and Sir J. Minnes (age 66) did give him on the sudden, a very handsome supper and brave discourse, my Lord Bruncker (age 45), and Captain Cocke (age 48), and Captain Herbert being there, with myself. Here my Lord did witness great respect to me, and very kind expressions, and by other occasions, from one thing to another did take notice how I was overjoyed at first to see the King's letter to his Lordship, and told them how I did kiss it, and that, whatever he was, I did always love the King (age 35). This my Lord Bruncker (age 45) did take such notice [of] as that he could not forbear kissing me before my Lord, professing his finding occasion every day more and more to love me, and Captain Cocke (age 48) has since of himself taken notice of that speech of my Lord then concerning me, and may be of good use to me.

Pepy's Diary. 24 Oct 1665. Thence to my office, and no sooner there but to my great surprise am told that my Lord Sandwich (age 40) is come to towne; so I presently to Boreman's, where he is and there found him: he mighty kind to me, but no opportunity of discourse private yet, which he tells me he must have with me; only his business is sudden to go to the fleece, to get out a few ships to drive away the Dutch.

Pepy's Diary. 28 Oct 1665. Up, and sent for Thomas Willson, and broke the victualling business to him and he is mightily contented, and so am I that I have bestowed it on him, and so I to Mr. Boreman's, where Sir W. Batten (age 64) is, to tell him what I had proposed to Thomas Willson, and the newes also I have this morning from Sir W. Clerke (age 42), which is, that notwithstanding all the care the Duke of Albemarle (age 56) hath taken about the putting the East India prize goods into the East India Company hands, and my Lord Bruncker (age 45) and Sir J. Minnes (age 66) having laden out a great part of the goods, an order is come from Court to stop all, and to have the goods delivered to the Sub-Commissioners of prizes. At which I am glad, because it do vex this simple weake man, and we shall have a little reparation for the disgrace my Lord Sandwich (age 40) has had in it.

Pepy's Diary. 01 Nov 1665. But by and by Sir W. Batten (age 64) and I took coach, and home to Boreman, and so going home by the backside I saw Captain Cocke (age 48) 'lighting out of his coach (having been at Erith, Kent also with her but not on board) and so he would come along with me to my lodging, and there sat and supped and talked with us, but we were angry a little a while about our message to him the other day about bidding him keepe from the office or his owne office, because of his black dying. I owned it and the reason of it, and would have been glad he had been out of the house, but I could not bid him go, and so supped, and after much other talke of the sad condition and state of the King's matters we broke up, and my friend and I to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 04 Nov 1665. At noon with him to dinner at Boreman's, where Mr. Seymour (age 32) with us, who is a most conceited fellow and not over much in him. Here Sir W. Batten (age 64) told us (which I had not heard before) that the last sitting day his cloake was taken from Mingo he going home to dinner, and that he was beaten by the seamen and swears he will come to Greenwich, Kent [Map], but no more to the office till he can sit safe.

Pepy's Diary. 07 Nov 1665. Thence in, and Sir W. Batten (age 64) comes in by and by, and so staying till noon, and there being a great deal of company there, Sir W. Batten (age 64) and I took leave of the Duke (age 32) and Sir G. Carteret (age 55), there being no good to be done more for money, and so over the River and by coach to Greenwich, Kent [Map], where at Boreman's we dined, it being late.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Jan 1666. Up by candlelight again, and wrote the greatest part of my business fair, and then to the office, and so home to dinner, and after dinner up and made an end of my fair writing it, and that being done, set two entering while to my Lord Bruncker's (age 46), and there find Sir J. Minnes (age 66) and all his company, and Mr. Boreman and Mrs. Turner (age 43), but, above all, my dear Mrs. Knipp, with whom I sang, and in perfect pleasure I was to hear her sing, and especially her little Scotch song of "Barbary Allen"1 and to make our mirthe the completer, Sir J. Minnes (age 66) was in the highest pitch of mirthe, and his mimicall tricks, that ever I saw, and most excellent pleasant company he is, and the best mimique that ever I saw, and certainly would have made an excellent actor, and now would be an excellent teacher of actors.

Note 1. The Scottish ballad is entitled, "Sir John Grehme and Barbara Allan", and the English version, "Barbara Allen's Cruelty". Both are printed in Percy's "Reliques", Series III.

Pepy's Diary. 05 Jan 1666. I went therefore to Mr. Boreman's for pastime, and there staid an houre or two talking with him, and reading a discourse about the River of Thames, the reason of its being choked up in several places with shelfes; which is plain is, by the encroachments made upon the River, and running out of causeways into the River at every wood-wharfe; which was not heretofore when Westminster Hall [Map] and White Hall were built, and Redriffe [Map] Church, which now are sometimes overflown with water. I had great satisfaction herein.

Pepy's Diary. 14 Jan 1666. He gone I close to my papers and to set all in order and to perform my vow to finish my journall and other things before I kiss any woman more or drink any wine, which I must be forced to do to-morrow if I go to Greenwich, Kent [Map] as I am invited by Mr. Boreman to hear Mrs. Knipp sing, and I would be glad to go, so as we may be merry.

Pepy's Diary. 15 Jan 1666. Busy all the morning in my chamber in my old cloth suit, while my usuall one is to my taylor's to mend, which I had at noon again, and an answer to a letter I had sent this morning to Mrs. Pierce to go along with my wife and I down to Greenwich, Kent [Map] to-night upon an invitation to Mr. Boreman's to be merry to dance and sing with Mrs. Knipp. Being dressed, and having dined, I took coach and to Mrs. Pierce, to her new house in Covent-Garden [Map], a very fine place and fine house. Took her thence home to my house, and so by water to Boreman's by night, where the greatest disappointment that ever I saw in my life, much company, a good supper provided, and all come with expectation of excesse of mirthe, but all blank through the waywardnesse of Mrs. Knipp, who, though she had appointed the night, could not be got to come. Not so much as her husband could get her to come; but, which was a pleasant thing in all my anger, I asking him, while we were in expectation what answer one of our many messengers would bring, what he thought, whether she would come or no, he answered that, for his part, he could not so much as thinke.