Biography of William Chiffinch 1602-1691

In 1602 William Chiffinch was born to Unknown Chiffinch.

In 1663 [his daughter] Barbara Chiffinch Countess Jersey was born to William Chiffinch (age 61).

In 1666 William Chiffinch (age 64) assisted the Duchess of Cleveland (age 25) in her plan to cause King Charles II (age 35) to surprise his latest favourite, 'La Belle Stuart' (age 18) in company of the Duke of Richmond (age 26).

Pepy's Diary. 18 Nov 1666. Back home in my Lord Bruncker's (age 46) coach, and there W. Hewer (age 24) and I to write it over fair; dined at noon, and Mercer with us, and mighty merry, and then to finish my letter; and it being three o'clock ere we had done, when I come to Sir W. Batten (age 65); he was in a huffe, which I made light of, but he signed the letter, though he would not go, and liked the letter well. Sir W. Pen (age 45), it seems, he would not stay for it: so, making slight of Sir W. Pen's (age 45) putting so much weight upon his hand to Sir W. Batten (age 65), I down to the Tower Wharfe [Map], and there got a sculler, and to White Hall, and there met Lord Bruncker (age 46), and he signed it, and so I delivered it to Mr. Cheving (age 64)1, and he to Sir W. Coventry (age 38), in the cabinet, the King (age 36) and councill being sitting, where I leave it to its fortune, and I by water home again, and to my chamber, to even my Journall; and then comes Captain Cocke (age 49) to me, and he and I a great deal of melancholy discourse of the times, giving all over for gone, though now the Parliament will soon finish the Bill for money. But we fear, if we had it, as matters are now managed, we shall never make the best of it, but consume it all to no purpose or a bad one. He being gone, I again to my Journall and finished it, and so to supper and to bed.

Note 1. William Chiffinch (age 64), pimp to Charles II and receiver of the secret pensions paid by the French Court. He succeeded his brother, Thomas Chiffinch (who died in April, 1666), as Keeper of the King's Private Closet (see note, vol. v., p. 265). He is introduced by Scott into his "Peveril of the Peak"..

Pepy's Diary. 27 Aug 1667. At noon dined at home, and then my wife and I, with Sir W. Pen (age 46), to the New Exchange, set her down, and he and I to St. James's, where Sir J. Minnes (age 68), Sir W. Batten (age 66), and we waited upon the Duke of York (age 33), but did little business, and he, I perceive, his head full of other business, and of late hath not been very ready to be troubled with any of our business. Having done with him, Sir J. Minnes (age 68), Sir W. Batten (age 66) and I to White Hall, and there hear how it is like to go well enough with my Chancellor (age 58); that he is like to keep his Seal, desiring that he may stand his trial in Parliament, if they will accuse him of any thing. Here Sir J. Minnes (age 68) and I looking upon the pictures; and Mr. Chevins (age 65), being by, did take us, of his own accord, into the King's closet, to shew us some pictures, which, indeed, is a very noble place, and exceeding great variety of brave pictures, and the best hands. I could have spent three or four hours there well, and we had great liberty to look and Chevins seemed to take pleasure to shew us, and commend the pictures. Having done here, I to the Exchange [Map], and there find my wife gone with Sir W. Pen (age 46). So I to visit Colonel Fitzgerald, who hath been long sick at Woolwich [Map], where most of the officers and soldiers quartered there, since the Dutch being in the river, have died or been sick, and he among the rest; and, by the growth of his beard and gray [hairs], I did not know him. His desire to speak with me was about the late command for my paying no more pensions for Tangier.

In 1668 William Chiffinch (age 66) was appointed Page of his Majesty's Bedchamber.

In 1668 William Chiffinch (age 66) was appointed Keeper of the King's Private Closet.

Pepy's Diary. 13 May 1668. Thence, at noon, to Hercules Pillars, and there dined all alone, and so to White Hall, some of us attended the Duke of York (age 34) as usual, and so to attend the Council about the business of Hemskirke's project of building a ship that sails two feet for one of any other ship, which the Council did agree to be put in practice, the King (age 37) to give him, if it proves good, £5000 in hand, and £15,000 more in seven years, which, for my part, I think a piece of folly for them to meddle with, because the secret cannot be long kept. So thence, after Council, having drunk some of the King's wine and water with Mr. Chevins (age 66), my Lord Brouncker (age 48), and some others, I by water to the Old Swan [Map], and there to Michell's, and did see her and drink there, but he being there je ne baiser la; and so back again by water to Spring Garden all alone, and walked a little, and so back again home, and there a little to my viall, and so to bed, Mrs. Turner (age 45) having sat and supped with me. This morning I hear that last night Sir Thomas Teddiman, poor man! did die by a thrush in his mouth: a good man, and stout and able, and much lamented; though people do make a little mirth, and say, as I believe it did in good part, that the business of the Parliament did break his heart, or, at least, put him into this fever and disorder, that caused his death.

Pepy's Diary. 02 Apr 1669. Thence to the council door and Mr. Chevins (age 67) took me into the back stairs, and they with his friend, Mr. Fowkes, for whom he is very solicitous in some things depending in this Office, he did make me, with some others that he took in (among others, Alderman Back well), eat a pickled herrings, the largest I ever saw, and drink variety of wines till I was almost merry; but I did keep in good tune; and so, after the Council was up, I home; and there find my wife not yet come home from Deptford [Map], he she hath been all this day to see her mother, but she come and by, and so to talk, and supper, and to bed. This night I did bring home from the King's potticary's, in White Hall by Mr. Cooling's direction, a water that he says did him mighty good for his eyes. I pray God it may do me good; but, by his description, his disease was the same as mine, and this do encourage me to use it.

Pepy's Diary. 19 May 1669. Thence by and by to White Hall, and there I waited upon the King (age 38) and Queen (age 30) all dinner-time, in the Queen's (age 30) lodgings, she being in her white pinner and apron, like a woman with child; and she seemed handsomer plain so, than dressed. And by and by, dinner done, I out, and to walk in the Gallery, for the Duke of York's (age 35) coming out; and there, meeting Mr. May (age 47), he took me down about four o'clock to Mr. Chevins's (age 67) lodgings, and all alone did get me a dish of cold chickens, and good wine; and I dined like a Prince, being before very hungry and empty.

Pepy's Diary. 26 May 1669. To White Hall, where all the morning. Dined with Mr. Chevins (age 67), with Alderman Backewell (age 51), and Spragg (age 49). The Court full of the news from Captain Hubbert, of "The Milford", touching his being affronted in the Streights, shot at, and having eight men killed him by a French man-of-war, calling him "English dog", and commanding him to strike, which he refused, and, as knowing himself much too weak for him, made away from him. The Queen (age 30), as being supposed with child, fell ill, so as to call for Madam Nun, Mr. Chevins's (age 67) sister, and one of her women, from dinner from us; this being the last day of their doubtfulness touching her being with child; and they were therein well confirmed by her Majesty's being well again before night. One Sir Edmund Bury Godfry (age 47), a woodmonger and justice of Peace in Westminster, having two days since arrested Sir Alexander Frazier (age 59) for about £30 in firing, the bailiffs were apprehended, committed to the porter's lodge, and there, by the King's command, the last night severely whipped; from which the justice himself very hardly escaped, to such an unusual degree was the King (age 38) moved therein. But he lies now in the lodge, justifying his act, as grounded upon the opinion of several of the judges, and, among others, my Lord Chief Justice (age 62); which makes the King (age 38) very angry with the Chief-Justice, as they say; and the justice do lie and justify his act, and says he will suffer in the cause for the people, and do refuse to receive almost any nutriment. The effects of it may be bad to the Court. Expected a meeting of Tangier this afternoon, but failed.

Pepy's Diary. 30 May 1669. Thence to White Hall, and dined alone with Mr. Chevins (age 67) his sister: whither by and by come in Mr. Progers and Sir Thomas Allen (age 36), and by and by fine Mrs. Wells (age 27), who is a great beauty; and there I had my full gaze upon her, to my great content, she being a woman of pretty conversation.

On 04 Aug 1681 William Chiffinch (age 79) was present at the famous loyal feast of the apprentices at Saddler's Hall Gutter Lane.

On 17 Dec 1681 [his son-in-law] Edward Villiers 1st Earl Jersey (age 25) and [his daughter] Barbara Chiffinch Countess Jersey (age 18) were married.


In 1685 William Chiffinch (age 83) was elected MP Windsor.

Death and Burial of Charles II

On 06 Feb 1685 King Charles II of England Scotland and Ireland (age 54) died at 1145 in the morning at Whitehall Palace [Map] attended by Charles Scarburgh (age 69). His brother King James II of England Scotland and Ireland (age 51) succeeded II King England Scotland and Ireland. Mary of Modena Queen Consort England Scotland and Ireland (age 26) by marriage Queen Consort England Scotland and Ireland. His brother King James II of England Scotland and Ireland (age 51), William Chiffinch (age 83), Richard Mason (age 52) and Archbishop William Sancroft (age 68) were present. Duke York 5C 1633 merged with the Crown.

In Jul 1691 William Chiffinch (age 89) died at Philiberts' Manor Holyport Bray Windsor.